HILLSBORO, Oregon, Sept. 6, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A man who served as the bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and worked as a driver’s education teacher was booked into jail Thursday for the alleged abuse of 15 students.
Paul Douglas Burdick, 48, of Hillsboro, Oregon, was charged with 15 counts of sexual abuse for alleged groping and harassing students he taught at Portland’s Community College’s Willow Creek Center. He worked there, part-time, as a drivers’ education instructor, until allegations of abuse led to his dismissal.
Burdick also served as the bishop of the Hillsboro ward of the LDS Church until he was dismissed by the church for the same reasons.
Burdick’s bail has been set at $150,000, a statement from the Washington County (Oregon) Sheriff’s Office says.
“Since 2018, detectives with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit have been investigating allegations that a drivers education instructor at Portland Community College’s (PCC) Rock Creek campus was sexually abusing his students,” the sheriff’s department statement says.
“During the investigation, detectives learned Mr. Burdick was also the bishop of the Hillsboro Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Both PCC and the LDS Church were cooperative with the investigation and took immediate steps to remove Mr. Burdick from his positions once notified of the allegations.”
The statement said the sheriff’s officials have identified 20 victims so far, and are looking for more.
“Many of them were high school students and took Drivers Ed through PCC,” the sheriff’s statement says. “They reported that Mr. Burdick groped them while they were taking practice or test drives.
“Mr. Burdick would also make some of them perform jumping jacks and tried to get cell phone recordings of that happening.”
The allegations go back to 2012, and continued through August of 2018, when Burdick was removed from his teaching position, the WCSO statement says