Former PCC drivers ed teacher arrested for sex abuse
A Hillsboro man is facing 15 charges of sexual abuse for allegedly groping and harassing students he taught at Portland Community College's Willow Creek Center.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office said detectives arrested Paul Douglas Burdick, 48, on Thursday morning, Sept. 5. Burdick was a part-time drivers education instructor at PCC Willow Creek up until last year.
Investigators say Burdick groped girls and young women under his tutelage, touching them inappropriately during test drives and practice. Some of the 20 victims identified so far reported that Burdick directed them to perform jumping jacks and attempted to record them on his cellphone.
The abuse allegedly took place from 2012, the year Burdick was hired, until 2018, when PCC removed Burdick from his teaching position.
The Sheriff's Office said PCC was informed of the allegations and dismissed Burdick once notified.
PCC spokeswoman Kate Chester confirmed that Burdick was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 31, 2018, one day after a complaint was filed against Burdick with both PCC and the Sheriff's Office.
He was officially fired as an instructor on April 24, 2019, Chester said.
Burdick was previously suspended from his position in 2016 over allegations by two students against him, but the case was ultimately dropped, Chester said.
Burdick was also a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — a position loosely equivalent to a pastor or rabbi. He presided over the Hillsboro Latter-day Saints ward.
The Church also removed Burdick from that position once it was notified of the allegations against him, the Sheriff's Office said.
Burdick was lodged at the Washington County Jail after his arrest Wednesday.
Detectives believe there are likely additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 503-846-2700.
"From PCC's standpoint, alleged victims can contact the college's Office of Equity and Inclusion to explore resources or get support," Chester stated in an email. "They also are encouraged to reach out to Detective Mark Povolny with the Washington County Sheriff's Office who has led the investigation."
Editor's note: Based on information from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, a previous version of this story misidentified the suspect's work site at Portland Community College. According to PCC, he taught classes at the college's Willow Creek Center in Hillsboro. The story has also been updated with additional details on the suspect's employment at PCC.
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