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The alleged abuse occurred when Dale Buckendahl taught at Alder Elementary School.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF - Dale Buckendahl faces two felonly counts of sex abuse that allegedly occured while he taught at Alder Elementary School in the Reynolds School District.A former substitute teacher made his first court appearance Thursday morning after being charged with two felony counts of sex abuse of a third-grader while he was teaching in the Reynolds School District.

Dale Buckendahl, 53, was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 6, Outlook media partner KOIN 6 News reported.

The alleged abuse occurred between August 2007 and June 2008 when Buckendahl taught at Alder Elementary School, court documents showed. The victim was younger than 14 years old at the time.

Buckendahl was accused of touching one young girl, "under her underwear around and near her vaginal opening" and touching her leg, the criminal indictment said.

She initially reported the abuse to Portland police and the Department of Human Services in 2011.

Civil suit

The alleged victim of the abuse, now 18 years old, also sued the Reynolds School District for $6.2 million in civil court in March in connection with the alleged abuse. That suit is pending.

The alleged abuse occurred when the victim was a third-grade student and Buckendahl was the classroom teacher, KOIN reported.

"Buckendahl engaged in 'grooming' behaviors by paying extra attention to five female Hispanic students, including (the alleged victim)," according to the civil lawsuit, KOIN reported.

The civil suit alleges that Buckendahl engaged in "affectionate touching by hugging the five girls and rubbing their shoulders."

The Multnomah Education Service District handled hiring and placement for substitute teachers within the Reynolds School District when the alleged abuse occurred. The ESD was responsible for screening temporary teachers.

Buckendahl had problems with another school district prior to his stint at Reynolds.

According to state records, in 2003, Buckendahl received a 30-day suspension of his teaching license and four years of probation. Then in 2014, the state teacher licensing commission revoked his teaching credential for gross neglect of duty, according to a letter the Reynolds district sent to Alder parents in March.

The civil suit said the Beaverton School district issued a formal reprimand to Buckendahl in October 2002 for similar behaviors, KOIN reported.

In March 2017, Maureen Wheeler, a spokeswoman for the Beaverton School District, confirmed that Buckendahl worked in the district from August 1998 through August 2003.

Buckendahl is not named as a defendant in the civil lawsuit, but the district named him in the letter it sent to Alder parents.

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