Portland driver’s education teacher accused of sexually abusing students

PORTLAND, Ore. – Current and former students at Portland Community College are disturbed that Paul Burdick is accused of sexually assaulting women and girls during courses taught out of the Willow Creek Center.

Noemi Rios attends PCC she said, “The face looks familiar and I go to PCC, so it’s, like, woah. No way something like that would happen that close to school.”

Former PCC student Karl Anderson said, “He really does look familiar.” Anderson took classes through 2016 and has three daughters of his own. “I don’t want anybody in the community at all that is going to portray themselves in kind of a trusting position, especially something like that, when they have the ability to really get your child alone, I think it’s a huge threat,” Anderson said.

PCC issued a statement saying that Burdick was hired in April of 2012 and had passed his background checks. However, there were red flags. The college reports that students brought allegations to PCC in 2016. The college put him on leave and began an investigation. However, the district attorney made a decision not to proceed based on available evidence and the case was closed.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Burdick again in 2018

Deputy Brian Van Kleef, public information officer for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, explained, “Victims tell us he would touch them inappropriately while they were driving or inside the car taking driver’s ed classes.”

Burdick also served as a Mormon bishop at this church off Southeast Golden in Hillsboro. Deputy Van Kleef said none of the current abuse claims were from inside the church setting—only during driver’s ed courses. Still, investigators believe there could be more victims out there.

Rios said, “I think they should probably fire him you know, so this doesn’t happen again, because there is a lot of women period that go to that school you know, and a lot can happen.”

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