Charges: Veteran firefighter had sex with underage teen
SEATTLE -- A veteran Seattle firefighter has been charged with multiple counts of raping a child after reportedly engaging in a relationship with a then-15-year-old girl he met through a theater group.
According to charging documents filed Tuesday with Whatcom County Superior Court, 53-year-old Ferndale resident Michael Sulak, who worked at Fire Station 8 in Seattle until going on disability following a car crash earlier this month, had sex with the victim four times in November and December.
The victim's father became suspicious his daughter was having a relationship with an adult and contacted the Lynden Police Department, giving them an iPod his daughter reportedly used to communicate with Sulak.
During the investigation, the victim told police she met Sulak about a year prior while both were involved in the Northwest Washington Theater Group. The victim said she became close to Sulak because she felt he really listened to her.
According to the charging documents, the victim said she flirted with Sulak, once hiding his phone in her bra so he would have to retrieve it.
Things escalated, and Sulak and the victim had sex twice on a catwalk during a theater performance at Meridian High School in Bellingham in November or December of last year, according to the documents.
During the investigation, the victim reportedly ran away from home and ended up at Sulak's trailer in Ferndale on Dec. 26. According to the charging documents, Sulak called the victim's parents and said she had showed up at his house asking for a ride to a church function and that he didn't know she had run away.
According to the documents, Sulak lied to the victim's parents, telling them he dropped her off at church, while she stayed in his trailer, where they had sex again.
When Sulak went to Seattle Dec. 27 for two nights of work, he reportedly took the victim with him, having sex with her in his truck parked near the fire station in Queen Anne.
According to the charging documents, Sulak admitted to having sex with the victim despite her age, telling detectives he was wrong and made an error in judgment.
In addition to four counts of raping a child, Sulak has been charged with the unlawful harboring of a minor.