Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Man on trial charged with rape in high school bathroom

NEW PORT RICHEY — Minutes before the alleged rape, the girl got a text from her ex-boyfriend saying he was upset and wanted to meet.

"He jokingly pulled me into the bathroom," she testified in court Thursday.

She and Justin J. Kulik had sex for eight to 10 minutes, she said. She did not scream or tell him no.

"I was frozen with fear," she said.

The next day, she reported a rape.

Kulik, 20, is on trial this week, charged with sexual battery. Prosecutors say Kulik pushed the girl into a stall and forced her to have sex at Fivay High School on Nov. 16, 2010. Kulik's lawyers claim that the encounter was consensual and that his accuser, who is not being named because of the nature of the allegations, claimed rape after she was bullied and called names by classmates.

"Buyer's remorse doesn't take away consent," said Shahtia Gay-Hairston, Kulik's public defender. "Regret does not take away consent."

According to testimony, the girl and Kulik had dated previously, but they broke up because Kulik's ex-girlfriend fought with her.

"I didn't want to be a part of the drama," she said.

They had recently started talking again and were on friendly terms. After the incident, the accuser testified, she went to the media center of the school and told her boyfriend that "something happened" between her and Kulik.

Later in the day, she changed and noticed a sticky substance on her jeans. She started crying.

She did not report a rape that night.

She came to school the next day, and someone called her a slut, the accuser testified, and someone else called and told her to "stay away from my man."

She told a school resource officer what happened. During the investigation, Kulik told a detective he had had sex with the victim eight months prior but denied the encounter in the bathroom.

The trial is expected to conclude Friday.

Contact Jon Silman at (727) 869-6229, [email protected] or @Jonsilman1 on Twitter.

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