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.
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