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 Rock Creek campus was sexually abusing his students.
On September 5, 2019, detectives arrested 48-year-old Paul Douglas Burdick of Hillsboro and charged him with 15 counts of sexual abuse in the third degree. His bail was set at $150,000.
During the investigation, detectives learned 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 Burdick from his positions once notified of the allegations.
Detectives have identified 20 victims so far. The victims, who are all girls or young women, were in Burdick’s drivers ed classes. Many of them were high school students and took drivers ed through PCC. They reported that Burdick groped them while they were taking practice or test drives. 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 2018 when Burdick was removed from his positions.
Detectives strongly believe there are additional victims and would like to speak with anyone who may have been affected by Burdick’s crimes. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2700.