Trial date set for former Essex Tech, GLTS instructor | North of Boston

DANVERS – A trial is scheduled for September 21 in the case against an Essex Tech culinary arts teacher accused of indecent assault of a student in 2019.

Robert Vandenbulcke’s attorney told a Salem District Court judge on Friday that the case would go to trial, as opposed to any effort to reach a plea deal.

“This is a final trial,” attorney Gerard LaFlamme told Judge Carol-Ann Fraser during the brief hearing.

Vandenbulcke, 64, from Salisbury, was charged and arrested after a pupil at Danvers School went with a parent to police to report the allegations. Vandenbulcke had worked at Greater Lawrence Technical School before moving to Essex Tech.

The student, who was 16 at the time, told investigators that Vandenbulcke touched the front of his pants twice, the first time while reaching for a towel and the second while adjusting a knob on the stove.

Vandenbulcke pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault and battery.

He was immediately suspended from school.

Prior to his teaching career, he ran a popular Newburyport restaurant in the 1990s and operated a food truck and cart business that appeared at festivals and other events throughout the region.

Friday’s hearing was scheduled as a hearing on a motion by the district attorney’s office to be allowed to call two other students as witnesses during the trial. The other students will be questioned about the accuser’s statements shortly after the alleged incidents – an exception to the rule against hearsay evidence which is known as “first complaint” testimony.

But LaFlamme did not dispute the prosecution’s right to call those witnesses when the case comes to trial.

Forensic reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

Forensic reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

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