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2017 Campus Sexual Assault Case Continues

Written by
Elizabeth Mitton
March 24, 2021

Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault. 

Due to a publication ban on the identity of the victim, she will be referred to throughout this article as Jane. 

2017 Campus Sexual Assault Case Continues
Photo by OnceAndFutureLaura via Flickr

“Creating unbreakable bonds and memories that will never fade. This is the Trent experience that nearly 3,500 new students, one of the largest groups of incoming students in the  University’s history, will discover for themselves during Orientation Week 2017” read Trent’s news release on September 1, 2017 - days before students began arriving on campus, and days before an alleged sexual assault. 

It was “on or around September 3, 2017” - one day before the university’s mandatory  sexual assault prevention session for incoming students - that Jane met the man who she alleges sexually assaulted her. Adam Bullock was attending a meet-and-greet luncheon for student staff members of the University. Due to a publication ban in place on Jane’s identity, Arthur is not aware of where in the university Jane was employed at the time of the alleged assault. Bullock has been referenced several times as working for the Trent University Emergency First Response Team (to be referred to henceforth as TUEFRT), however, his formal position is unknown. A previous Arthur article lists Bullock as a “former TUEFRT Program Director,” while an article from The Peterborough Examiner lists Bullock simply as “a volunteer for the university’s Emergency First Response Team for orientation week.” According to one of Jane’s statements, “Adam worked for the [TUEFRT] at Lady Eaton College.”  

Arthur also has a source who recalls that Bullock was involved with Trent’s Walkhome program, and although they cannot recall Bullock’s official role, report that he was instructing volunteers during Walkhome’s orientation while the source was a student volunteer. Arthur reached out to the Assistant Vice President of Students, Dr. Nona Robinson, via email to clarify Bullock’s role with these organizations at the time of the alleged incident and to learn of any other organizations he was involved with during his time at Trent. The response came from the university’s communications department, who responded that “We understand that Arthur has  reached out to AVP Students Nona Robinson. Privacy legislation prevents the University from  identifying or commenting on the experiences of any individual past or present students.” 

While Jane and Adam are in agreement that their interactions began at the staff luncheon, as evidenced in their respective claims, the events following their initial meet and greet varies  greatly. Bullock’s accounts of the events are provided here. Jane’s accounts of the events are provided here. Peterborough This Week explained what became of the investigation in an article published to; “Peterborough police charged Bullock on Jan. 31, 2019, with sexual assault and breaking and entering.” However, the charges were “withdrawn against Bullock at the request of the Crown in Peterborough Provincial Court” in July 2019. Bullock’s claim states the charges were withdrawn “once Adam’s legal counsel disclosed the Snapchat messages showing that [Jane] knew Adam during the month of September and continued to have some sort of relationship with him, which was significantly inconsistent from her statements to the Police.” Jane’s claim states that;  

“At all times, the detective continued to suggest that [Jane] testify, so they could move the  charges forward. More than anything, [Jane] wanted to put this incident behind her. She did not want to relive the events that had occurred, she did not want to see Adam again, and she did not want to feel as though she - herself - was on trial. [Jane] therefore repeatedly told the detective that she would not testify at trial. Eventually, the detective told [Jane] that the police could not proceed with charges if [Jane] would not testify at trial. The detective therefore advised [Jane] that the Crown would be dropping the charges.”

It was 3 months after the charges were withdrawn that Bullock filed a lawsuit seeking $1.35 million in damages. A MyKawartha article lists the breakdown of this amount; “Bullock is seeking $1 million in aggravated and/or punitive damages… $100,000 in special damages for lost wages and legal fees… $250,000 for malicious prosecution and defamation.” According to an article from Peterborough This Week published in The Toronto Star, Jane’s counterclaim, “which was filed on Dec. 20, 2020, is for a half-million dollars in general damages for physical and sexual assault and/or physical sexual battery, and intentional infliction of mental suffering. She is also asking for $250,000 in aggravated and punitive damages.” The article also includes a brief statement from Bullock’s lawyer, Jeffrey Ayotte; “Given that this matter is before the courts we are not in a position to provide detailed comment.”

Arthur will continue to report on this case.  

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