SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — A prosecutor’s request to prosecute the man accused of killing California college student Kristin Smart, who went missing 25 years ago, with rape has been refused by a court.
According to KEYT, the San Luis Obispo district attorney’s office attempted to add two rape counts to the complaint filed against Paul Flores in Smart’s murder, for acts they claim occurred in Los Angeles County after Smart vanished.
According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, the court denied the DA’s petition and set a preliminary hearing in the murder case for Aug. 2.
On May 25, 1996, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, when they were both freshmen, Paul Flores, now 44, was the last person seen with Smart. Prosecutors claim he murdered Smart in his dorm room while attempting to rape her after agreeing to escort her home from a party where she had become inebriated.
Her corpse was never discovered.
Ruben Flores, Paul Flores’ father, has pled not guilty to being an accessory after the fact in Smart’s killing. Investigators with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department discovered “biological evidence” showing Smart was previously buried under Ruben Flores’ deck outside his house in Arroyo Grande, and the father and son were detained in April.
The Floreses’ lawyers have disputed that their clients did anything illegal. According to KEYT, a lawyer for Paul Flores termed the prosecution’s move to add the rape accusations a “publicity stunt” on Wednesday.