Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 | 6 p.m.
It wasn’t the first time Roberto Carlos Flores had bitten off the lip of someone he was in a relationship with, but in court Wednesday he said he wanted it to be the last.
In January 2012, Flores shoved his girlfriend’s head in a toilet, choked her, raped her and bit her nose and lip, according to court records. The bite removed a chunk of her lip. He proceeded to force her to lie about what happened to the police. They’d been dating three months when the incident happened.
Flores, 24, who pleaded guilty to one count of domestic battery strangulation, mayhem and coercion in Clark County District Court was sentenced by Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez to six to 15 years with credit for 465 days already served.
The maximum he could have faced was roughly 8 1/2 years to 21 years in prison.
Prosecutor Hagar Trippiedi, who argued for that sentence, said the case was one of the most horrific she’d seen. It is made worse by the fact that Flores pleaded guilty in 2009 to biting off his wife’s lip, she said.
In that case he bit off the woman’s entire bottom lip and police were unable to find it afterward, according to court records.
He ended up being paroled after a year and a half in January 2011, Trippiedi said. He had his chance to change and didn’t, she argued.
In court, Flores apologized for the pain he had caused and said that he understands he needs help and is fighting his sickness daily.
He paused to collect himself during his testimony, remarking that he was nervous.
“I don’t want to keep the same cycle,” Flores said. “I want to be a different person.”
Public defender Steven Lisk argued that Flores is ready to get help and that he is a product of a gruesome past. Lisk said Flores was the product of rape, that his father abused him and that his uncle sexually abused him.
The mother of the victim said she didn’t think his disturbing childhood should mean the judge should be lenient. She testified in Spanish with the help of a translator about how his actions had forever changed the lives of her daughter and grandchildren who still shudder when there is a knock on the door. They worry he’ll be back, she said.
She said her daughter is considering moving out of state because she is haunted by the death threats he made against her. He told her if he went to jail he would kill her and her family, she said.
Flores is also involved in another case where he is accused of beating a 1-year-old child so severely that doctors say she will never walk or talk again, Trippiedi said. As part of the plea deal in this case he has agreed to plead guilty in that pending case.
Flores’ aunt, mother and sister were in the courtroom to support him and questioned his attorney at length after the hearing about how they could best help him from that point forward.
The sentencing in his pending case is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 12 before Judge Carolyn Ellsworth.