Ex-Deputy Who Beat Girlfriend and Lit Her Hair on Fire Only Gets a Year in County

Was former deputy Alejandro Flores' sentence too lenient?
Was former deputy Alejandro Flores' sentence too lenient?
Orange County District Attorney's office

Over the objections of a prosecutor who found the sentence too lenient, an Orange County Superior Court judge on Monday ordered a former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy to spend a year in county jail for assaulting a girlfriend, including lighting her hair on fire.

Alejandro Flores, 34, of Buena Park, pleaded guilty Monday to three felony counts of domestic battery with corporal injury, two felony counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of criminal threats, one felony count of dissuading a witness by force or threat, and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace or violence, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm.

Besides imposing the jail time, Judge Rodger Robbins sentenced Flores to five years of formal probation, eight hours of community service, mandatory completion of a domestic violence batterers' treatment program, and he was ordered to pay restitution.

But Deputy District Attorney Suzy Snyder of the Family Protection Unit objected to Robbins' sentence, stating she believed Flores should be in state prison. The maximum sentence Flores faced was 14 years in state prison.

The mother of Flores' son agreed the sentence was light.

"Alejandro chose a career in law enforcement to protect and serve," she told Robbins in her victim impact statement. "Apparently, that doesn't cross to his personal life and the sentence confirms it." 

She had also described some of her nightmare.

"He pushed me against the stove yelling, 'Is this what you want?' At that point, he turned on the gas burner, setting the my hair on fire," said the victim, who did not want to be identified.

She and Flores and their then-2-year-old resided in Buena Park around Oct. 22, 2014, when he hit her in the face and broke her nose—while still a sheriff's deputy. She did not report that incident. Then, on June 28, 2015, Flores argued with his girlfriend about the child's pacifier and pushed her into a wall in their home. He hit her on the top of her head with his fist and grabbed her neck, causing her to fall to the ground. He dragged her into the kitchen after she tried to get away from him. He forcibly held her over the stove and turned on the gas burner, causing her hair to catch on fire.

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After her hair was extinguished, Flores threatened her with violence if she contacted police or tried to leave the home. He took away her mobile phone and threw the device at her leg with enough force to injure her. When she tried to scream, Flores turned up the volume on the television, walked into a bedroom to retrieve his off-duty firearm and threatened her with it if she tried to leave the home.

The woman grabbed her child and left the home after Flores went to work. She reported her nightmare to two relatives who contacted the Buena Park Police Department, which investigated and subsequently arrested the deputy.

Flores is no longer an LA County sheriff's deputy.

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