Kristin Smart case: Prosecutors seek to add rape charges against San Pedro man accused of murder

SAN PEDRO, Calif. (CNS) -- San Luis Obispo County prosecutors are seeking to amend their case against the San Pedro resident charged with murdering Kristin Smart in 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Prosecutors will argue a motion Wednesday to amend the murder charge against Paul Ruben Flores, according to The Times.

They have said he killed Smart during the commission of a rape or attempted rape in his dormitory the night she vanished in 1996.

Authorities did not spell out the specifics of the new charges in court. But last week, a judge referenced case law in which rape cases were attached to crimes in a different county, The Times reported.

Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Jonathan Tippett, who oversees the Robbery-Homicide Division, said San Luis Obispo County prosecutors were looking at two sexual assaults that occurred in the San Pedro area where Flores lived between 2013 and 2017, The Times reported.
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Paul Flores, who is charged with murder in the 1996 disappearance of classmate Kristin Smart and the defendant's father made their first court appearance Thursday but did not enter pleas.

Tippett said the addition of the Los Angeles County rape charges will bolster the prosecution's murder case against Flores and demonstrate a pattern of criminal behavior, according to The Times.

A judge said Monday that a number of motions will be reviewed this week ahead of a 12-day preliminary hearing scheduled for July 20.

Flores is charged with murder in the commission of a rape or attempted rape. His 80-year-old father, Ruben Flores, is charged with accessory after the fact and is accused of concealing Smart's body after her death.

The preliminary hearing is expected to reveal what prosecutors think happened to Smart. After the arrest of the two Floreses, evidence was retrieved from below the deck of the father's home in Arroyo Grande, prosecutors have indicated.
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