A man from California who kidnapped and raped a 7-year-old girl who has severe developmental disabilities has been sentenced to 65 years to life in a state prison. The suspect was turned in by the 8-year-old friend of the victim in the case. The suspect is Daniel Vlas Flores. Flores approached the victim in an apartment courtyard in Huntington Beach back on April 19, 2009. The victim was playing with the 8-year-old girl and two boys.
Flores, 30 at the time, told the children that he needed help moving his furniture. The kids were being cared for by a babysitter when the incident occurred. The 8-year-old girl told Flores to take the two boys to help him but Flores grabbed the victim by the hand and took her to his apartment. The victim had said multiple times that she did not want to go.
The victim was sodomized, raped and sexually assaulted by Flores, who used his fingers, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The 8-year-old girl became worried about her friend when she did not return. She then found the suspect’s apartment, opened a glass door, and the victim escaped. The victim ran home, picked up a photo of her mom and then locked herself in a bathroom to cry. Once authorities were able to talk her out of the bathroom she was examined. The examination found blood in her underwear and the DNA of Flores on her body. Flores was arrested later the same day.
During the sentencing for Flores, the older girl said that she felt like she was the protector of the girl who has developmental disabilities. The victim is pretty much nonverbal and her friend used to call her “the little girl who doesn’t talk.” The girls seemed to enjoy a happy reunion during the trial.
“They appeared to still be the best of friends,” Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough said. “There was hugging and smiles on both of their faces.”
The father of the victim said during the sentencing that the family has moved out of the state of California in order to remove themselves from the horror of the crime. The father also said that his daughter is in therapy and the family is still attempting to recover from the trauma of the crime. During the trial, Flores was found guilty of one felony count each for sodomy of a child, sexual intercourse with a child, digital penetration of a child and kidnapping to commit a sexual offense.
The trial was presided over by Judge Lance Jensen, who said that Flores, “singled out the younger, physically challenged child to ensure your chances of success and decrease your chances of getting caught.”
“I can’t think of anything worse you can do to a child than what you did,” the judge said to Flores.