Contact Us
Bedford Daily Voice serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah
Return to your home site

Menu

Bedford Daily Voice serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah
News

Ex-Area Teacher Accused Of Sexually Abusing Student Found Dead

A former teacher who was recently accused of sexual abuse was found dead by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say.
A former teacher who was recently accused of sexual abuse was found dead by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say. Photo Credit: Pixabay

A Hudson Valley teacher who was recently accused of the alleged sexual abuse of an elementary student years ago was found dead at his Orange County home.

Shawn Memmelaar, a retired Newburgh physical education teacher, was found dead Sunday, Oct. 13, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Town of Goshen Police said.

Memmelaar, who was a gym teacher at the now-closed Union Grove Elementary School in Newburgh, had denied the allegations after a recently filed lawsuit claimed he abused student Sandra Burke, 55, from 1969 through 1975.

Burke's attorney, Evan Foulke, told News 12 , that Memmelaar would take her out of class and make her stay after gym class.

Foulke told News 12 that Burke attempted to tell other teachers at least twice about the abuse.

"There were red flags everywhere including specific complaints about Memmelaar,” Foulke told News 12.

The lawsuit was filed under the Child Victims Act, which provides a one-year window for child sexual abuse victims of any age to bring lawsuits for abuse that occurred even decades ago.

Memmelaar, who retired in 2001 was a football, wrestling and track coach during his time teaching.

The suit, which was filed in state Supreme Court and also names the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, is expected to go forward despite Memmelaar's death.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Bedford Daily Voice!

Serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah

Get the news you need to know on the go.

Welcome to

Bedford Daily Voice!

Serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.