Man bound over to circuit court for CSC charges

Gregory Bulerski, 43, was arraigned in Manistee County’s 85th District Court for criminal sexual conduct felony charges with a minor. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

Gregory Bulerski, 43, was arraigned in Manistee County’s 85th District Court for criminal sexual conduct felony charges with a minor. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

MANISTEE COUNTY — A Brethren resident charged with several counts of criminal sexual conduct appeared in court on Thursday for a preliminary exam.

Gregory Bulerski, 43, is charged in Manistee County’s 85th District Court with two felony counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct and one felony count of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

During the hearing on Thursday, several witnesses were called to the stand. The victim appeared as a witness, however Judge Thomas Brunner accepted the motion made by Prosecutor Jonathan Hauswirth to hold a closed court at the time.

Bulerski’s attorney, Michael Smith, called a 16-year-old witness to the stand, who is related to the defendant.

Smith asked the witness to review details of the incident, which took place in Bulerski’s vehicle on Jan. 15 in Maple Grove Township. She said she and the victim and were at the victim’s Brethren home babysitting Bulerski’s child.

Bulerski returned to the home at 2 a.m., when both girls were asked to enter his vehicle to drive to the Wesco gas station in Parkdale. She said the group switched drivers several times along the way.

Smith asked for significant details during the time traveled to the Wesco station.

“When I was driving I noticed his hand was reaching behind toward (the victim),” the witness said. “He was in the passenger seat and she was (in the back seat). Then we switched for (the victim) to drive and I was in the back seat, and I noticed his hand was over the center council near her thigh area.”

After they reached Wesco, she said they drove back to the house in Brethren to retrieve some personal items. Bulerski then asked the witness to drive him to a relative’s house in Copemish.

“He asked me to drive because he was drinking,” she said.

While the witness was driving, she said Bulerski asked the victim to sit on his lap in the front passenger seat. She said the victim first refused, but then later agreed to his orders.

During the testimony, the witness described an incident where Bulerski touched her own thigh and breast regions. She added he and the victim engaged in mouth to mouth contact in the front passenger seat.

Later on, she said the victim and Bulerski were positioned in the back seat when she heard mouth to mouth contact again. Smith asked if the witness saw the incident, she responded that she only heard noises.

“I pulled over and he got in the back,” she said. “So I started driving and they were kissing, I could hear it.”

The witness said the victim and Bulerski moved to the far back portion of the moving vehicle.

After taking the wrong turn she stopped at a three-way intersection.

“I did not really observe, but I heard. Well, I saw them get into the back of (the vehicle),” she said. “I ended up going into the snowbank. (The victim) and (Bulerski) got out and were fixing their clothes.”

When the party reached the relative’s house in Copemish, the witness said her family members spoke to the victim and later drove her to Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital.

Deputy Jacob Bielski, who works with the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office, completed the investigation after responding to the call on Jan. 15. During his testimony, he said interviews were completed with the witness and her father along with the victim and her mother.

The witness completed a sexual assault forensic exam with Dr. Jennifer Reinink, a pediatric doctor at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital.

Reinink was called to the stand by Hauswirth and detailed the victim examination. She said the victim appeared to show unusual redness in the vaginal region, which could indicate penetration.

The DNA evidence was processed by the Michigan State Police, with multiple DNA samples collected from the Jan. 15 incident. Reports were recently returned with conclusive evidence Bulerski made contact with the victim.

However, the report declared Bulerski was excluded from the match for the vaginal and cervical DNA sample.

“So Mr. Bulerski is eliminated as the contributor for both of the vaginal swabs,” Smith said.

Ending the hearing, Hauswirth gave closing statements regarding the case.

“There is probable cause that Mr. Bulerski did engage in digital penetration of the victim, but also now penetration of the victim has been outlined in counts one and two,” Hauswirth said. “In count three there is evidence that he engaged in sexual contact (with the victim).”

After reviewing testimonial statements, Hauswirth made a motion to add an additional count involving a second victim. Smith objected the motion claiming it was “procedural prejudice.”

Brunner denied the motion saying it was late notice, but a separate charge could be processed.

“By a probable cause standard, the testimony supports a bind over for Mr. Bulerski on counts one and two,” Brunner said. “From a probable cause standard, the fact that there is redness in the vaginal area, there is a significant tie to the testimony that would be cause of the penetration.

“In purposes of a bind over, I do find that there is probable cause to support count three as well.”

Bulerski was bound over to the 19th Circuit Court. An arraignment date is yet to be determined.

The defendant is currently being held in the Manistee County Jail on a $100,000 cash or surety bond.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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