By JOSH FRIEDMAN and KAREN VELIE
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office disclosed their intent on Wednesday to provide the defense with video and audio evidence of sexual abuse Paul Flores allegedly committed before he was charged this week with the murder of Kristin Smart, according to the charging document.
Prosecutors plan to use the evidence to make the case that Paul Flores has a propensity for sexually assaulting women.
The district attorney’s office referred to the videos and investigation reports as evidence of “prior sexual acts” and other “incidents of abuse.” Evidence of prior sexual acts may be used in court to show a propensity for sexual offenses, according to California’s Evidence Code 1108.
SLO County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Paul Flores, 44, the primary suspect in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart, and his father Ruben Flores, 80, earlier this week. Paul Flores is charged with murder while his father is charged as an accessory after the fact.
District Attorney Dan Dow said at a press conference on Wednesday his office suspects Flores killed Smart while raping or attempting to rape her.
Over the past two years, detectives served multiple search warrants at the homes of Paul Flores and his father. During the raids, investigators gathered evidence, including electronics, some of which they said will be used at trial.
In 2013, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reviewed a rape allegation against Paul Flores stemming from an incident in Redondo Beach, but decided there was not enough evidence, according to the LA Times.
In 2016, the Daily Beast reported four women had come forward with accusations Paul Flores sexually assaulted them. The alleged incidents occurred between 1994 and approximately 2002 in both San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles counties.
Paul Flores is currently under investigation for two alleged sexual assaults that occurred in Los Angeles during that past few years, according to the LA Times. Law enforcement sent both cases to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for review.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Dow said Paul Flores may have sexually assaulted victims in his community of San Pedro or elsewhere in the Los Angeles area. Prosecutors are asking anyone with information on sexual assaults or other crimes possibly perpetrated by Paul Flores to contact SLO County Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-7867.