DNA evidence presented on Bulerski trial

BULERSKI

BULERSKI

MANISTEE COUNTY — After more witness testimony on Thursday, attorneys gave their closing statements on day two of trial in Manistee County’s 19th Circuit Court for Gregory Bulerski.

Bulerski, 43, is facing two felony counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct — one for digital/vaginal penetration and one for penile/vaginal penetration — and a felony count of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

However, a lesser charge of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree was provided as an alternate for the third count.

Jonathan Hauswirth, prosecutor, and Michael Smith, Bulerski’s attorney, gave their closing statements to the jury on Thursday.

It is the policy of this news organization not to publish the names of sexual abuse or rape victims and minors involved with a case, to protect their identities during the investigation and court proceedings.

In his closing statement, Hauswirth asked the jury to consider the victim’s testimony. He reviewed the details of her condition reported by Dr. Jennifer Reinink, who completed a sexual assault forensic exam on Jan. 15 — when the incident was reported.

“You saw how the victim was while she was testifying, she was obviously upset,” Hauswirth said. “I can prove personal injury because of mental anguish. You saw her crying yesterday 10 months later after the incident… think of how she felt at the time, it’s 2 a.m. in the back of a Jeep and there’s nowhere to go.”

After several DNA analysts took the stand on Thursday, Hauswirth reviewed the evidence to the jury. Outlined on a DNA lab report, results indicated a match for the victim’s DNA present on Bulerski’s underwear.

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

“What happened to the victim was horrific, and she relived that for us when she testified,” Hauswirth said. “Why would she lie? That’s the question I want you to think about. If she is lying how did his DNA get on her breast and earlobe, how is his Y-chromosome in her vagina and how did her DNA get on his underwear.”

Previous reports outlined during the preliminary exam on June 1, found part of the sample collected from the victim’s vaginal region excluded Bulerski as a match for the vaginal and cervical DNA sample.

However, Hauswirth said other testing of DNA samples indicated Bulerski could possibly be a match.

“Some of the DNA that was collected from the victim’s vagina was excluded as being Bulerski’s — that’s accurate,” he said. “I don’t know whose DNA that is, neither does Mr. Smith, but it does not matter. The presence of someone else’s DNA in the victim’s vagina does not negate the presence of the defendant’s DNA.”

Smith rebutted with a statement about the victim’s motive, along with her 17-year-old female friend, who was present during the alleged incident.

“We have a seven hour span until the victim is taken to the hospital,” Smith said. “For whatever reason, they might have decided that they wanted to get back at Mr. Bulerski. The testimony is simply not credible. There are so many inconsistencies.”

Smith relayed the order of events, based on a testimony given by the victim on Wednesday. At the time of the incident, he said Bulerski was suffering a hernia and had no ability to lift the victim over the back seat — where the victim stated the vaginal penetration took place.

“At some point, the victim says Mr. Bulerski had done digital penetration to her while she was actually driving the vehicle,” Smith said. “We have Mr. Bulerski reaching over and unzipping her skinny jeans, pulling them down and digitally penetrating her. Does that make any sense? The victim’s friend did not even see it.”

The jury began deliberations on Thursday afternoon and will resume at 9 a.m. at the Manistee County Courthouse today, when a verdict is expected to be met.

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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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