Fifth Child Sex Abuse Claim Filed against Former Bishop Howard Hubbard
By Brendan Lyons
August 12, 2020
|Bishop Howard Hubbard speaks to the Times Union on his last official day as the Bishop of the Albany Diocese Wednesday afternoon April 9, 2014, in his new office at the Pastoral Center in Albany, N.Y. (Skip Dickstein / Times Union)SKIP DICKSTEIN|
ALBANY A fifth lawsuit accusing former Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of child sexual abuse was filed this week in state Supreme Court in Albany.
The lawsuit also alleges a second priest, Cabell B. Marbury, also sexually abused the boy. The case was filed on behalf of a 55-year-old South Carolina man who alleges he was 10 when Hubbard sexually abused him in 1975. The lawsuit claims the boy became ill during a church-sponsored bus trip to West Point and Hubbard, who was on the trip, brought him back to the empty bus and sexually molested him.
The complaint alleges Hubbard also sexually abused the boy in 1974 and 1976 at his family's church, then-St. James on Delaware Avenue in Albany. The church is now named St. Francis of Assisi.
"During this time period, altar boys, including plaintiff, were directed to bring brandy from a wet bar located behind the altar to a reading room located behind the altar," the complaint states. "On multiple occasions, plaintiff served Hubbard in the reading room at which time, Hubbard had plaintiff sit on Hubbard's lap which was followed by inappropriate touching and ultimately anal sex."
Marbury, a teaching minister at Cardinal McCloskey Memorial High School in Albany, allegedly sexually abused the boy while visiting St. James on multiple occasions, according to the lawsuit.
"Father Marbury abused him sexually multiple times in the church sacristy, in the rectory and in a music practice room located adjacent to the balcony near the location of the organ," the complaint states. "This priest forced (the boy) to touch him, and the priest touched him. He was also forced to have anal sex with this priest. The abuse did not stop until his family moved to a farm in Westerlo."
The lawsuit filed against the diocese, Hubbard and St. Francis of Assisi Parish is the fifth civil action to accuse former Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard of child sex abuse. The lawsuits all have been filed over the last year under the Child Victims Act, which created a one-year window beginning in August 2019 for alleged victims of sexual abuse to filed claims that had previously been time-barred due to New York's statute of limitations.
On Aug. 3, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a bill that extends the period to file until August 2021.
Hubbard retired in 2014 after leading the Albany diocese for nearly four decades. He has denied the allegations. Marbury died in December 2014. According to his obituary, he was assigned to Sacred Heart in Castleton and then Blessed Sacrament in Hague. In September 1964, he was assigned as assistant pastor at St. Pius X in Loudonville. He spent the remainder of his priesthood ministering at McCloskey High School, which later became Bishop Maginn High School.
"I don't know if any of the plaintiffs in these court documents were abused," Hubbard said previously. "If so, I hope they find healing and justice. I can only declare with absolute certitude that I was never their abuser or the abuser of anyone else."
More than 3,980 cases have been filed statewide under the CVA so far; hundreds have named New York Catholic dioceses as defendants.
The first claim against Hubbard, filed a year ago, alleged that the former bishop abused a teenage boy in the 1990s. A second filed the next month accused him and two other Capital Region priests Francis P. Melfe and Albert DelVecchio, both now deceased of repeatedly assaulting a teenage girl in the late 1970s at a now-shuttered church in Schenectady.
A third lawsuit filed in October claimed that Hubbard and a second priest abused a teenage boy at a Troy church in the 1970s. The second priest is identified in the complaint as "Joseph Mato," but the Times Union could not confirm if a priest by that name served at the church. A deceased priest with a similar name was employed by the diocese during that time.
Hubbard said last year "it is worth noting that all of the other priests named in these court filings are now deceased," and he questioned why the allegations did not surface during an in-depth investigation into misconduct accusations against him in 2004.
The filing of the lawsuit was first reported by the Daily Gazette.
We cannot comment on individual cases that are in litigation," said Mary DeTurris Poust, a spokeswoman for the diocese. "However, the Diocese of Albany remains focused on survivors, intent on making sure the truth comes out in every case that has been filed. We urge anyone who has been abused to contact local law enforcement and our diocesan Assistance Coordinator."