The suit alleges that “in or about the summer of 1977,” when the alleged victim was 11 years old, Hubbard approached him in a storage room during a carnival being held at St. Edward parish, and sexually assaulted him.
Under Vos estis, bishops accused of sexual abuse are investigated by their Metropolitan, who in this case is Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.
“The canonical procedure known as Vos Estis has been put on hold until the civil cases have been concluded,” Mary DeTurris Poust, communications director for the diocese, said in a statement to CNA.
Bishop Hubbard has maintained that he has never abused a child and enjoys the presumption of innocence throughout the civil and canonical proceedings, DeTurris Poust added.
This is the seventh lawsuit to be brought against Bishop Hubbard under New York’s Child Victims Act, which set up a one-year window for clergy sex abuse lawsuits in cases where the statute of limitations had previously expired.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has since extended the window for filing lawsuits until Aug. 14, due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Hubbard was named in a lawsuit brought on the day the Child Victims Act came into force in 2019. That lawsuit accused him of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy in the 1990s.
DeTurris Poust said Hubbard has not been in active ministry since the filing of the first lawsuit.
Several of New York’s dioceses have declared bankruptcy amid a flood of lawsuits following the Child Victims Acts coming into force.