Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Judge Denies Effort To Add Rape Charges In Kristen Smart Murder Case

(Smart Family photo)
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristen Smart, who disappeared in 1996, and based on evidence was later determined to be a murder victim.

Prelimimary hearing set for August

A judge denied efforts to add rape charges against the man accused of killing a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student more than 25 years ago.

Paul Flores is accused in the 1996 disappearance, and death of Kristen Smart. They were both students at Cal Poly. Prosecutors said he walked Smart back to the dorms after an off-campus party. They think he attected her in his dorm room.

The additional charges were from two open sexual assault cases in Los Angeles County which occured decades after Smart's death. It was part of a proseuction effort to show Flores was guilty of a pattern of assaulting women.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's detectives have been wotking on the case for decades. While Flores was considered a "person of interest" for years, it was only in the last year investigators and prosecutors felt they had enough evidence to arrest, and charge him. Her body has never been found.

The suspect's father, Ruben Flores, has entered a not guilty plea to being an accessory to murder. Investigators think at one point, Smart's body was buried under a deck at the father's Arroyo Grande home.

Attornies for the two men are denying the charges.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.