Flores found guilty of 17 felony sex abuse charges

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A little more than two weeks after Maura Celis-Garcia was found guilty of 17 felony sexual crimes against her two children, Francisco "Paco" Flores also was convicted of the same 17 charges, according to a news release from Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Don Stouffer.

Flores was found guilty Monday, July 30, by a separate Clay County jury, of 10 counts of statutory sodomy, six counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of statutory rape.

The sodomy and rape counts carry maximum punishment of life in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Like Celis-Garcia, Flores was found guilty of repeatedly raping and molesting two girls, age 5 and 7 at the time of the crimes, acts that Stouffer characterized as "far beyond the imagination of any normal person."

The already complex case, which began in 2006, was complicated further when Stouffer was hospitalized briefly last week.

Although he was supposed to be on family leave to be with his wife and two-week-old child, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Josh Taylor rose to the occasion, according to Stouffer.

Stouffer also praised Kim Owen, the third member of the prosecuting team, for her work on the long case and for assisting Taylor during Stouffer's absence.

Stouffer said Flores' conviction is expected to be the end of the long process.

"We have been fighting to keep these two defendants off the streets since the horror that had been the daily lives of (their victims) was disclosed in 2006," he said.

Flores waived jury sentencing, Stouffer said. Judge Larry Harmon will determine Flores' sentence early in September.

Contact Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com

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