A recently filed lawsuit alleges that Howard Hubbard, a retired Catholic bishop in Albany, molested “an 11-year-old boy at a carnival more than 40 years ago,” according to the New York Post, which notes that this is the seventh lawsuit alleging that the former clergyman committed abuse.
The new lawsuit, filed anonymously, alleges that when the plaintiff was working as a carnival fundraiser volunteer in 1977, he “went to get cups from a storage room when Hubbard told him to join him in the rectory” in St. Edwards, a church in Clifton Park. There, the plaintiff alleges, Hubbard “sexually assaulted and abused” him. The plaintiff was able to file the lawsuit because the New York Child Victims Act allows New Yorkers to bring childhood sexual abuse claims against their alleged abusers “regardless of statutes of limitation,” the Post notes. The NYCVA has a two-year window for people to file claims, ending in August 2021.
Howard Hubbard is now 82 years old, according to the Post, and has been the subject of public accusations of abuse since 2019. The Catholic Church launched probe into allegations against him, which is “paused while the civil cases against Hubbard play out,” the Albany Diocese told the Post. In a statement about the new lawsuit, Hubbard said: “I pray for the anonymous individual who filed this lawsuit that he will know the healing and peace of God’s love and will find the justice and closure he seeks… I know with absolute certainty that I did not abuse him because I know with absolute certainty that I have never abused a child or an adult, sexually or in any other way.”
In a statement to the Post, Hubbard’s attorney “questioned why it took so long for this victim to come forward,” saying in a statement that “If he is a victim of abuse, it is not at the hands of Bishop Hubbard,” and that “He misidentified his abuser, if the abuse did occur.” The Albany Diocese issues a statement saying: “Bishop Edward Scharfenberger takes all allegations of abuse seriously and is committed to uncovering the truth without fear or favor.… Bishop Hubbard has maintained that he has never abused a child and enjoys the presumption of innocence throughout the civil and canonical proceedings.”
More information about the allegations is available via the New York Post.