Hudson Valley Teacher Found Dead After Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
A Hudson Valley gym teacher was found dead shortly after he was accused of sexually assaulting a young student.
Shawn Memmelaar, a retired Newburgh physical education teacher, was found dead in his Goshen home early Sunday morning. A Town of Goshen police spokesperson confirmed to Hudson Valley Post the 74-year-old died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Memmelaar was found dead following accusations that he sexually abused an elementary school student decades ago. A lawsuit recently filed in Orange County alleged the former Newburgh teacher and coach regularly sexually abused a former student from 1969 to 1975, according to Newsource. Prior to his death, Memmelaar denied the accusations.
In January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the "historic" passage of the Child Victims Act. The bill allowed people who were sexually abused as children to now sue their abuser by extending New York’s statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and creating a one-year window for survivors to start a claim against their abusers in cases where the statute of limitations has expired.
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