Years later, former teacher charged with sexual abuse

Victim sued Reynolds School District over alleged abuse

Dale Buckendahl, 53, is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. (MCSO)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A former substitute teacher will appear in court on Thursday on allegations of sexual abuse.

Dale Buckendahl, 53, is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, according to court documents.

The secret-indictment, which was unsealed after Buckendahl’s arrest on Wednesday, shows the abused occurred between August 2007 and June 2008. The alleged victim was under the age of 14 years old when the abuse occurred. She is now 18 years old.

It is alleged that Buckendahl touched the area around the girl’s vagina and touched her leg.

Police first investigated the case in 2011 when it was reported to DHS. Officials declined to comment on why charges were just recently filed.

In March 2017, the18-year-old filed a $6.2 million lawsuit against the Reynolds School District in connection to the alleged abuse.

According to the civil lawsuit, Buckendahl was a substitute teacher who worked for the Reynolds School District. The abused occurred when the victim was a third-grade student and Buckendahl was the classroom teacher.

“Buckendahl engaged in ‘grooming’ behaviors by paying extra attention to five female Hispanic students, including [the alleged victim],” according to the civil lawsuit.

The civil lawsuit alleges that Buckendahl engaged in “affectionate touching by hugging the five girls and rubbing their shoulders.”

In the civil lawsuit, it states that Buckendahl was issued a formal Letter of Reprimand in October 2002 by the Beaverton School District for similar grooming behaviors.

According to state records, in 2003, Buckendahl received a 30 day suspension and 4 years of probation. The next year the state revoked Buckendahl’s right to apply for teacher’s license.

In March 2017, Maureen Wheeler, a spokesperson for the Beaverton School District, confirmed that Buckendahl worked with BSD from August 1998 through August 2003.

Andrea Watson, a spokesperson for the Reynolds School District, never returned e-mails seeking comment at the time when KOIN 6 News reached out about the civil lawsuit.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that the Multnomah Education Service District handled hiring and placement for substitute teachers within the Reynolds School District when the alleged abuse occurred.

Buckendahl’s arraignment is set for 9:45 a.m. Thursday at the Justice Center in downtown Portland.

Buckendahl is not named as a defendant in the civil lawsuit; however, attorneys for the alleged victim have filed a motion with the court to add him as a defendant in the civil case.

The civil case is still pending. A trial readiness hearing has been scheduled for December 29. KOIN 6 News has reached out to the attorneys for the RSD to get additional information.