Alleged victims say Paul Flores is a sexual predator

November 8, 2016

Kristin Smart

Kristin Smart

The Arroyo Grande Police Department had the opportunity to arrest Paul Flores for rape prior to the disappearance of Kristin Smart; a retired FBI agent believes Smart’s remains were once buried at the home of Flores’ mother; and four accusers say Flores sexually assaulted them. These allegations and more were reported in a Daily Beast investigative piece on Flores’ life before and after the Smart disappearance.

It appears the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office has been unaware of the sexual assault allegations over the course of the Kristin Smart cold case. A sheriff’s office spokesman is requesting that the alleged victims come forward. It might help the investigation, the spokesman said. Since the Daily Beast initially contacted the sheriff’s office, at least one of the alleged victims reportedly spoke with detectives.

The alleged rape victim, a 39-year-old woman whom the Daily Beast is referring to as Jane, says she was roofied, raped and dumped outside her home by Paul Flores, with the help of his friends. The incident allegedly occurred in 1994, when she was a 15-year-old high school student living in Arroyo Grande. Two years later, Smart disappeared and Flores was named as the lone suspect.

Jane said she began spending time with Flores when he offered her rides to and from high school.

Initially, Flores did not make any advances on her, and he would only say “hi” at school.

One day, a boy walked up to her and told her she needed to be careful of Flores because he was writing her name about 150 times on a piece of paper, and he kept circling it. Jane did not heed the warning, dismissing it as Flores possibly having a crush on her.

Then one night, Jane went with Flores to a gathering at the home of one of his friends. Jane was was handed a plastic cup; she drank it and passed out, she said.

“I was lying down on my back. He’s on top of me. I know I didn’t have any pants on and he was in me and I could feel him,” Jane said. “He was staring at my face looking at me and he was enjoying himself.”

She said she felt him inside her during the three seconds she managed to wake up from her sleep. Then she blacked out.

The only thing after that she recalled was being dragged through a barely lit street by Lopez on one arm and his friend on the other.

“They took off running,” Jane said. “I remember thinking, ‘If my mom’s not home I’m going to die right here.’”

Jane’s parents rushed her to Arroyo Grande Community Hospital. Arroyo Grande police arrived, but the officers favored Flores’s account that she willingly drank and had sex, Jane said.

“The next thing I know is the cops telling me, ‘We can’t do anything because [Flores] and his friends are saying she was drunk and it was consensual.”

Jane said her father asked police to reconsider her story that she blacked out and did not consent to anything. But, the police were not going to get beyond the “he said, she said.” She was drunk, and Flores had a witness and she didn’t, Jane said.

One Arroyo Grand police administrator said the matter fell under a non-disclosure category because it was a sexual assault case. Another administrator said the police department’s search revealed no records regarding Jane’s rape claim exist.

Jane said she kept the story secret for years, even from her husband.

“I don’t like to talk about it to even him,” Jane said. “I don’t like to talk about that day.”

After watching the news about Smart going missing, Jane concluded she may have been one of the lucky ones.

“I remember being home watching the news about Kristin Smart and there goes Paul,” she said. “And it all came back to me.”

“I was like, ‘Oh my God. That could have been me.’”

Three other women claim to have been sexually assaulted by Flores. Those alleged incidents were not rapes.

The second alleged victim, who is referred to as Sarah, said Flores was a constant presence during her time at Cal Poly. Flores would tag along with a drunk friend, and they would crash parties wherever she was, Sarah said.

“I would turn around and he would be right there lurking,” Sarah said. “He would be stalking me.”

At a 1995 Halloween party, prior to Smart going missing, Flores grabbed Sarah’s crotch on the dance floor, she said. Sarah was yelling at Flores, and her girlfriend threw a piece of gum at his face, prompting him to push her down, she said. All of the men at the party then jumped Flores, and he fled.

In a subsequent incident, Sarah went to the bathroom at a friend’s birthday party and tried to lock the door. But, Flores crashed the door open.

“He slammed me and then pushed me up against the inside wall by the toilet. His hands were on my upper arms, and he started telling me all these sick things he was going to do to me.”

Flores even said he would rape her, she said. But, Sarah kneed Flores in the groin, kicked him in the shin and dashed off into the party. Other men arrived and scared him off.

“I got in his face,” the ex-boyfriend of Sarah said. “I told him, ‘You never do this again. You never look at her again! If you come near her again, I will kill you!”

Like the alleged victims, the ex-boyfriend requested anonymity. He said he never realized the man pictured in stories on Kristin Smart’s disappearance was the same man he encountered

Sarah said she is still haunted by Flores.

“Still to this day I am afraid to go to the bathroom by myself in public places,” she said. “I have PTSD fear of someone kicking the door in.”

One female cousin of Flores called him a pervert.

“Me, my sister, my cousin — Paul has no limits,” she said, likewise requesting anonymity.

On a camping trip in the early 1990s, Flores’ female cousins playful swiped his wallet and used it to buy slush puppies. Flores then threw another female cousins on the ground, got on top of her and put his hands down her top, even after getting the wallet, the cousin said.

“He had pinned her down and had his hand down her bathing suit groping her,” the cousin said.

In 2002, after getting kicked out of Cal Poly and being rejected by the Navy, Flores moved on to LA Harbor Community College. One night at a Hermosa Beach bar, Flores courted a 21-year-old student. They eventually moved in together, along with a male roommate in nearby Lawndale.

The woman, who is being referred to as Laura, described Flores as sexually aggressive. One time, they were wrestling in bed, and Flores grabbed a butter knife and pushed it against her face. Laura began screaming, “Stop!” and eventually their male roommate barged in and saved her, she said.

After they broke up, Laura did a little sleuthing and discovered Flores was accused in Smart’s disappearance, she said. That moment still haunts her, she said.

“My heart dropped,” Laura said. “I called my mom. I was crying.”

The Daily Beast tracked down Flores last month outside his home. He refused to comment on the allegations.

“No-no-no. I’m good,” Flores said. “I’m fine. I’m good. Have a good day.”

Last year, the SLO County Sheriff’s Office hired a detective to work on unsolved crimes for $15,000 a month. The sheriff’s office has four open homicide investigations, in addition to Smart’s missing persons case.

Sheriff’s officials and the FBI recently excavated a Cal Poly hillside in search for Smart’s remains. It is unclear if they succeeded in finding any.

The FBI would not comment on the assertion that Smart’s remains were once buried at the home of Flores’ mother. Nor would the FBI comment on anything else pertaining the case. The agency referred the Daily Beast to the sheriff’s office.

Kristin Smart’s parents, Stan and Denise Smart, released a statement to the Daily Beast praising the women for coming forward and saying they hope it leads to a break in their daughter’s case.

“These new allegations against Paul Flores are very troubling and deserve to be thoroughly investigated. We are grateful to these brave women for having the courage to talk about the their experiences, and we ask anyone who may have information they think could be helpful to contact the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. Any tidbit of information or recollection could make the difference in the recovery of our beloved Kristin.”







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9 Comments

  1. only-when-i-do-this says:

    I had a bone like this once; couldn’t put it down.

    -Dog.

    (-11) 11 Total Votes - 0 up - 11 down
  2. TWEEKSBALMER says:

    Where have these people been all these years?

    (17) 17 Total Votes - 17 up - 0 down
  3. sloslo says:

    “The only thing after that she recalled was being dragged through a barely lit street by Lopez on one arm and his friend on the other.”

    Who the hell is Lopez?

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
  4. abigchocoholic says:

    Nope. Not one of those stories would help in a murder trial. Not even close to being admissible. When it’s murder, the court goes out of its way to not let things like these stories in because they might prejudicie the jury. Rape is very different than murder.

    On a related note, it was not a crime to have sex with a 15 year old in 1994? My, how times have changed.

    (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
  5. Slosum says:

    Tough to get an arrest without a body, but these women lend to the cause. This case has haunted from the get go, with the Poly campus police totally screwing up and evidence lost. I truly hope the sheriff’s office has the info now to find her, and make forensic connections. Then we can hopefully close the books on a long and very sad story.

    (25) 31 Total Votes - 28 up - 3 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    Flores is GUILTY…period.

    (36) 46 Total Votes - 41 up - 5 down
  7. Josey Wales says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    If these accounts are to be believed, we have a serious criminal living among us.

    I say the circumstantial evidence in this case now rises to the level where a trial is warranted, and Mr. Paul Flores ought to be judged by a jury of his peers. There is no other way.

    The family of Kristen Smart deserves closure, and I call on San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson ought to present his case to the District Attorney.

    Just saying,

    Josey

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
    • October says:

      Double jeopardy gives the DA’s office one shot at Flores for the murder. Although it seems like there is enough circumstantial evidence to convict, much of it may not be admissible in court, so I can understand them not wanting to proceed and take the risk of ever being able to prosecute him again.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down

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