Teacher needs help, ex-student says
‘When I was younger, everyone at school thought he was a cool teacher,’ he tells sex trial
A former student testified Wednesday that a Sudbury teacher facing sex charges “needs help” and shouldn’t be allowed to teach again.
The student, who is now 19, described how Damir Bulic allegedly plied him with gifts and alcohol when he was a boy and how he performed a number of sexual acts in front of him.
The man said he would be a different person today if he had never met Bulic.
“I was 12 years old,” he said. “I was getting food, money, clothes, gifts, getting pulled out of class,” he said. “I don’t believe I would be smoking. I think I would be a different person growing up with my parents and everything ... To go through that is just wrong. For someone in society to do that, especially a teacher, is unbelievable ...
“When I was younger, everyone at school thought he was a cool teacher. I was getting alcohol all the time. At that point, at 12 years old, getting a $1,000, a laptop ... But now, I feel like I wouldn’t be the guy I am now. I would be a lot different.”
The man also said he believes Bulic should no longer teach.
“Mr. Bulic never abused me or tried to touch me, but I think he needs help. I don’t want him to do that to anyone else as a child ... I don’t think Mr. Bulic should be allowed in a classroom. I never want to see my kid in a classroom with a teacher like that. I think he needs help. It wasn’t right what he was doing and he should be punished.”
Bulic, 46, who is not in custody, is facing four counts of performing an indecent act and one count of invite sexual touching, all allegedly involving the same male minor from Sept. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011.
Originally, all five charges cited the City of Vaughan as the location where the alleged cries occurred, but on Wednesday, the Crown asked for and was granted permission by Justice Dan Cornell to change the location for four of them. As a result, two of the crimes allegedly happened in Greater Sudbury, two on Manitoulin Island, and one in Vaughan.
The defence team of Breese Davies and Owen Goddard did not oppose the changes.
The alleged victim recalled a trip to Canada’s Wonderland in 2011. He said they drank beers and had chicken wings. With other children asleep in a hotel room, he said Bulic grabbed a container with leftover chicken wings.
“Mr. Bulic cut a hole in the styrofoam (container) and stuck his penis in it,” the former student testified. “He was doing this in the bathroom of the hotel room. It was midnight ... I’m guessing he just saw the idea and did it.”
He said that after having sex with the container, a naked Bulic went into the hotel hallway, rubbed his privates on the walls, and came back in.
“He was just laughing, acting like a drunk teenager,” said the man. “I was laughing, but in the back of my head thinking that’s pretty strange. I was 12 years old ... After the incident, I started to realize it’s starting to get a little strange ... In the back of my mind, it’s weird, but I kept going along with it.”
In earlier testimony, the former student described how Bulic had sex with a watermelon and how the teacher asked him to use a cellphone to tape the accused masturbating on the hood of a vehicle at a local ball field.
He also talked Wednesday about several visits he and Bulic made to the camp on Manitoulin Island owned by the teacher’s uncle. On one occasion, the man said he and Bulic drank some beers and were about to go to sleep when Bulic offered oral sex.
The former student said he “just laughed and said no. We’re not going to do that. We just went on with the conversation.”
However, the request got him thinking, he told the court.
“I was 12,” he said. “All the gifts he was giving me, the things we were doing together, we were drinking, I thought it was wrong.”
The man also said Bulic masturbated while they were in the camp’s sauna together.
“He was just having a good time,” he testified. “It was funny for him.”
On another occasion, the former student recalled a short visit to the camp one school night. He said they drank beer and some of Bulic’s moonshine. He said Bulic let him drive back to Greater Sudbury. But he also said Bulic convinced him to masturbate while driving and watching pornography on his cellphone. Bulic videotaped the act with a cellphone, he testified.
However, the student he lost control of the vehicle and went into the ditch. A tow truck had to be called.
The man said he and Bulic later watched the video, with the teacher even showing it to another student at school.
The man also said Bulic once hosted a party for students at his home where vodka was put into the punch bowl and some children downed whiskey shots in the basement.
He said when his parents ordered an end to the relationship, Bulic gave him $1,000. The man said his parents found out and his father drove to Bulic’s home and returned the money.
During cross-examination, Goddard, one of the defence lawyers, pointed out inconsistencies in statements the man gave to Greater Sudbury Police and what he testified Tuesday and Wednesday.
Goddard said he found it hard to believe that young students could consume hard liquor and their parents would not notice when they picked their kids up at Bulic’s home.
“Sir, this simply isn’t true,” he told the man.
The former student said during cross-examination that he just remembered videotaping Bulic lying on his bathroom floor masturbating. He said the masturbation was a demonstration on how to do it properly. That incident did not come out in examination-in-chief by the Crown.
“This is eight years ago,” explained the man. “There is so much that happened. There is so much I probably didn’t put in the (second) statement.”
When Goddard told the man he couldn’t keep straight all the details about the relationship with Bulic because it did not happen, the man replied, “it did happen. I just know that it did happen. Things I didn’t concern myself with, it’s still in my mind. I know it did happen. It was eight years ago. There was so much we did together.”
The trial continues Thursday.