Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man, 20, sentenced in Fivay High School rape

Justin Kulik, who was convicted of sexual battery, hangs his head before being sentenced Friday to three years in prison.


Justin Kulik, who was convicted of sexual battery, hangs his head before being sentenced Friday to three years in prison.

NEW PORT RICHEY — At Justin Kulik's sentencing, the prosecutor asked the convicted rapist if he believed he committed a crime.

Kulik, 20, said no.

The rape happened at Fivay High School on Nov. 16, 2010. Kulik was 17 when he texted his ex-girlfriend, saying he was upset and wanted to meet. He "jokingly pulled me into the bathroom," the girl testified. They had sex for eight minutes, and he left her there.

Later, she went to police. Kulik denied the encounter. During his trial, his attorney said the act was consensual. A jury disagreed, and he was convicted of sexual battery on Sept. 6. On Friday, Kulik learned his fate. There were a few options, but the maximum penalty he faced was 15 years.

Circuit Judge Mary Handsel asked the victim's mother what she thought would be an appropriate sentence. Hold on, the mom said. She walked back to the victim, whispered to her, and walked back.

"Some (prison) time," the mother said. "But mostly help."

A psychologist testified that Kulik didn't have a good grasp on his emotions and had trouble admitting when he was depressed or experienced anxiety.

After some prodding from his attorney, Kulik apologized to the victim for "degrading" her.

Handsel called Kulik arrogant, and she said he lacked empathy. She sentenced him to three years in prison, to be followed by three years of sex offender probation. He will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.

"You should care that you raped a little girl in a boy's bathroom, in her high school — a place that she should be safe and sound," Handsel said. "And you don't get it. You don't get that what you did was wrong."

Man, 20, sentenced in Fivay High School rape 01/10/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 10, 2014 9:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hillsborough approves miniscule cut to property tax rate, give $2 million to bus system


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County Commissioners on Thursday approved a decrease in the property tax rate for next year that will save most homeowners a little pocket change.

    Passengers are seen near a bus at Westfield-Brandon Transit Center Thursday, July 13 in Brandon. On Thursday, commissioners approved a $2 million one-time payment for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  2. 5 things to know before Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend


    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  3. Baker releases endorsement of 40 Midtown pastors


    Rick Baker announced Thursday that he has the support of 40 Midtown pastors and religious leaders, evidence he says of his "overwhelming support" in a crucial part of the city.

  4. A Taste of Tampa Bay: Noble Crust in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Noble Crust opened on north 4th Street in St. Petersburg, an area light on ambitious restaurants, in 2015. Chef Rob Reinsmith and his team are serving up a blend of southern cuisine and Italian-style cooking, including the restaurant's signature fried chicken. The Noble Crust brand recently expanded beyond its St. …

    Pizza at Noble Crust. [Photo by MONICA HERNDON | TIMES]
  5. HomeTeam 100: Players 11-20


     Rising senior DE/TE Judge Culpepper (right) tackles OL Bryce Love during practice at Plant High School in Tampa, on Tuesday May 2, 2017.