Brittany Tom | NBC News Dateline

Content warning: This article includes graphic detail of rape described in court testimony.

On Friday, a woman assigned the name “Sarah Doe” by the court testified that Paul Flores raped her in 2011. 

Paul Flores is on trial for the murder of Kristin Smart, a Cal Poly freshman in 1996.

Doe described the evening to prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle at the beginning of her testimony. She said that she and a friend went to a bar in San Pedro, where she saw him sitting across the bar. 

“Every time I would look up I would notice… him looking towards our direction,” Doe said.

Doe said that she and her friend would occasionally get up and leave the bar to smoke a cigarette, leaving their drinks unattended. Eventually, they engaged in smalltalk with Paul Flores and he bought them more drinks. 

Doe said a fight broke out near the bar around 10 p.m., after which she, her friend, another friend, and Paul Flores got into Doe’s car.

“From there, it just gets kinda foggy,” Doe said, clarifying that she had no recollection of getting her friend home.

Doe testified that she had about four to five drinks that night. She told Peuvrelle that she’s had that amount of alcohol before, but that it has never affected her memory the way it did that night in 2011. 

She said that Paul Flores invited her over to his house on West Upland in San Pedro that night, where he offered her another drink. Doe remembered being “shocked” about how “cluttered” his house was, using the word “hoarding” to describe the state of the home at one point. 

Peuvrelle asked her to describe what happened after he offered her the drink, which wasn’t alcoholic to her best recollection. 

“I just kept going in and out of it, but I just remember being in his bedroom,” Doe said.

She described Paul Flores being “on top” of her in the bedroom, and later clarified that he was penetrating her with his penis.

Peuvrelle asked her about the experience. “Was this okay with you?”

“I was more confused,” Doe said, holding back tears.

“Did you consent to this?”

“No,” she said, crying. “I wasn’t really processing what was going on.”

Doe also said that Paul Flores raped her in the shower at some point, where she thought she may have heard him talking to somebody else in the house, although she was not clear about the sequence of events.

“At one point he did try to gag me, but I was screaming,” she said, explaining that Paul Flores tried shoving a red ball gag in her mouth multiple times during the rape.

“He kept shoving it in my mouth, I’m saying ‘no’ and screaming, but he kept trying to shush me and put it in my mouth.”

“I was screaming,” she said, crying. “I couldn’t breathe.”

Doe said she kept feeling and hearing her jawline crack while he raped her. 

When she woke up the next morning, she quietly dressed herself. Paul Flores woke up around the same time and dressed himself, too. Doe says they didn’t talk much before they got to the door. He tried to say goodbye to her.

“‘When someone tells you no, you know, it means no,’” she told him.

She said that Paul Flores looked down and said “‘okay,’” noting on Friday that she thought “he understood.” At that point, all Doe could remember was about the red ball gag. 

“I felt bruises on my arms, my legs and I felt really sore for a couple days,” she said, adding that she had pain on her legs, her back, and her lower body after the rape.

A couple years later, she tried to report the incident to law enforcement, although she said she never finished that report.

“They kept asking me questions and I just kept saying ‘I don’t know,’” she said. “I gave up after a while.” 

In June 2021, Doe met with Detective Clint Cole and another officer from the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department, where they showed her a lineup of photos of men. Peuvrelle showed this lineup to the jury on Friday.

“Did you see the person in that lineup who did this to you?” Peuvrelle asked.

“I did,” she said, clarifying that the man who raped her was Paul Flores.

At that point, Judge Jennifer O’Keefe ordered a ten minute break. Members of both juries were crying, and tissues were being passed around the courtroom. 

During cross examination, Paul Flores’ attorney, Robert Sanger, questioned Doe about reporting the crime.

“[You reported the crime] a few years later you saw Paul Flores was… a person of interest in the KS case, right?”

Doe originally agreed, but later added that “it might’ve been before, I’m not sure exactly.”

In 2020, Doe reported the rape to the Los Angeles Police Department, who were making “an inquiry” on behalf of the San Luis Obispo Police Department. 

Later in the trial, Doe said she only talked about the rape with her two best friends, although she didn’t know who Paul Flores was at the time.

Sanger continued his cross examination by talking about Doe’s social media usage around the time of the rape.

“In your Facebook throughout 2011 and 2012… just about every picture is a picture of alcohol, you drinking alcohol,” he told her. 

Doe said she started going out drinking around that time, noting that she was around 22 to 23 years old. Sanger continued this line of questioning later in his cross examination.

“I don’t mean to be disrespectful… it was a big part of your life, going out and getting drunk, correct?” Sanger asked. “It’s what you primarily posted about on Facebook.”

“To my friends, yes,” Doe said.

Sanger showed Doe a post she made on Facebook on Feb. 7, 2012 where she had bruises on her knee, which Doe clarified was a result of a drinking incident with her family members unrelated to Paul Flores. 

Sanger may have been trying to imply that Doe lied about getting those bruises from Paul Flores, though he did not make it clear during his cross examination. 

Sanger then turned his attention towards asking Doe about Chris Lambert’s podcast, “Your Own Backyard,” which is about Kristin’s Smart’s disappearance. She said she’d heard about it, but never listened to it.

“I’m not blaming you, I’m just asking you,” he said.

“No, I tried to avoid it,” she replied.

Earlier on Friday, Detective Clint Cole took the stand and Peuvrelle played an audio recording of an interview he did with Angie Carrizel, Paul Flores’ ex-girlfriend, in 2021. 

In the interview, Carrizel told Cole that she told Paul and Ruben Flores that she wanted to look at the avocado trees in the backyard of Ruben Flores’ home at 710 White Ct., where the prosecution believes Smart was buried at some point.

“They said ‘no, you can’t go over there,’” she said in the interview, clarifying that they “redirected” her away from the area.

During cross examination, Ruben Flores’ attorney, Harold Mesick, clarified that Carrizel and Paul Flores were late to a dinner party that day.

Court proceedings will resume Wednesday morning after a pre-scheduled break.