Kristin Smart case: Judge denies addition of rape charges

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A judge has denied a prosecutor’s bid to file rape charges against the man accused of killing California college student Kristin Smart, who went missing 25 years ago.

The San Luis Obispo district attorney’s office had sought to add two rape charges — for offenses they say were committed in Los Angeles County after Smart disappeared — to the complaint filed against Paul Flores in Smart’s death, KEYT reported Wednesday.

In this Thursday, April 15, 2021, file photo, defendants Paul Flores, top left, and his father, Ruben Flores, bottom right, appear via video conference during their arraignment in San Luis Obispo Superior Court in San Luis Obispo, Calif.  (AP Photo/Nic Coury, File)

The judge ruled against the DA’s motion and scheduled a preliminary hearing in the murder case for Aug. 2, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Paul Flores, now 44, was the last person seen with Smart on May 25, 1996, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where they were both freshmen. Prosecutors said he killed Smart while trying to rape her in his dorm room after he had agreed to walk her home from a party, where she had gotten intoxicated.

Her body has never been found.

This Tuesday, April 13, 2021, file photo provided by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office shows suspect Paul Flores, who was taken into custody in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles for the murder of Kristin Smart. (San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Paul Flores’ father, Ruben Flores, has pleaded not guilty to accessory after murder in Smart’s death. The father and son were arrested in April after investigators at the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department found “biological evidence” indicating Smart was once buried under Ruben Flores’ deck behind his home in Arroyo Grande.

Attorneys for the Floreses have denied that their clients committed any wrongdoing. A lawyer for Paul Flores on Wednesday called the prosecution’s attempt to add the rape charges a “publicity stunt,” according to KEYT.

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