Albany Victims: Don't forget real sex scandal
By Robert Cristo - The Troy Record
June 25, 2004
ALBANY - Now that Albany's Bishop Howard Hubbard has been
cleared of all sexual misconduct allegations, alleged victims
of clergy sex abuse want an equally thorough investigation
completed on the diocese's handling of clergy pedophile cases
dating back to the 1960s.
Alleged victims of clergy sex abuse say Thursday's clearing
of Hubbard should not be confused with the real sex scandal
that has rocked dioceses throughout the country since it became
public in Boston two years ago.
Many are calling for an equally detailed inquiry into finding
out if the bishop did enough to stop known pedophile priests
from harming more children under his watch.
"All they did was spend millions of dollars to prove
Hubbard didn't go to gay bars," said Mark Furnish, a
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests member, who spoke
inside Albany Law School immediately after White's announcement
"I would like to see that amount of resources and money
go into an investigation that proves Hubbard didn't cover
up sexual abuse of children," added Furnish, who was
allegedly abused as a child in Rochester.
As an attorney himself, Furnish wonders why Albany County
District Attorney Paul Clyne and other offices across the
country haven't followed the lead of Suffolk County District
Attorney Thomas Spota in launching an investigation into diocese
clergy sex abuse cover-ups.
Spota completed a nine-month special grand jury investigation
of the Long Island Diocese in Rockville Center in 2003, which
found cover-ups and sexual abuse in the diocese.
Spota recommended that statute of limitations laws should
be eliminated due to the cover-ups, which he labeled a "conspiracy."
The massive (nearly 200-page) report concluded that the Rockville
Diocese proved "incapable" of "properly handling"
issues related to sex abuse of children by priests.
According to Spota, church officials were not fully cooperative
in the investigation at times.
Thirty-seven-year-old Joe Woodward, who claims to have been
molested by defrocked Albany priest Dozia Wilson in the early
1980s, said he believes his case is a perfect example of one
that Hubbard could have prevented from occurring.
One year before Hubbard was installed as bishop, Wilson, 59,
was removed from the Albany Diocese and sent to the Boston
Archdiocese after he got caught having sex with two boys in
an Albany hotel, according to Woodward.
No charges were filed against him, but then-Albany District
Attorney Sol Greenburg ordered the diocese to never allow
Wilson to return to an Albany parish.
However, in 1979, Wilson was returned to Albany under Hubbard's
watch after allegations of sexual abuse about him arose in
Woodward said the priest then began a four-year friendship
with him (when he was 14) at St. Ann's Church in Fort Ann,
which he claims has tortured him for the rest of his life.
"Wilson was put back in New York after so many complaints,
and Hubbard didn't know anything about it?" said Woodward,
who lived with Wilson for a short time as a teenager. "Come
on. ... That is a lot crap, and he (Hubbard) knows it.
"Hubbard may not be guilty of being gay, but he's definitely
guilty of moving bad priests around and not admitting it,"
After finally being removed from ministry in 1993 for sexual
misconduct, Wilson was named director of spiritual life and
awareness at St. Christopher's Residential Treatment Center,
where he had access to hundreds of children from dysfunctional
He has since disappeared from that position after being found
beaten into unconsciousness by a male prostitute in a New
York City apartment building hallway in 2003.
Wilson never pressed charges against the prostitute, who also
stole his money and car.
"When you think about all the horrible things that could
have been prevented ... to me, Hubbard being gay was never
the issue," said Woodward.
Speaking on whether an independent investigator will be hired
to look into the sexual abuse scandal, Albany Diocese spokesperson
Kenneth Goldfarb pointed out that two studies have already
been conducted, which include one undertaken by the National
Review Board (a lay watchdog panel of bishops) and another
by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Those reports, released earlier this year, found in 121 cases
of alleged sexual abuse since 1950, 53 clergy ended up being
From that, the Albany Diocese deduced that about 2 percent
of 814 priests during 53 years actually abused children.
Hubbard called the findings "disturbing" and "painful"
and publicly stated that "we bishops" failed to
address properly the sexual abuse problem within the church,
but never got into specifics of what he knew under his watch.
Both reports pale in comparison to White's investigation into
homosexual misconduct allegations against Hubbard by local
attorney John Aretakis and his clients, said the victims.
According to Furnish, the reports lacked any real depth and
dioceses did not have to open their files for either inquiry.
He also contends the details provided by dioceses were "only
"They were just public relations tools for the dioceses
to explain away the clergy sex abuse scandal," said Furnish.
According to Goldfarb, he had no knowledge of the diocese
planning to conduct any kind of independent investigation
into the matter, and Clyne has already stated he has no plans
on carrying out one.
©The Record 2004