Effingham Daily News has reported that at least four boys were sexually abused at the Mother Hubbard's Daycare & Preschool located at 1011 E Grove Ave, Effingham, IL 62401.
On Monday, December 13, 2021, 66-year-old Martin D. Hubbard was arrested and charged with eight counts of predatory criminal sexual assault on a child under 13 years old. Hubbard, the husband of the daycare's owner Maria Hubbard, was the subject of an investigation that began in August. According to the daycare's website, he has been assisting at the daycare for the past couple of years.
The daycare has closed amid the allegations and surrendered its license on November 18, 2021. DCFS allowed the home daycare to remain in operation despite the allegations, as long as the husband was not home. In 1993, the couple was licensed to operate a daycare in their home. In 2012, Maria Hubbard was the only one listed on a new license renewed on January 5, 2021.
The investigation alleges that the predator abused at least four boys under the age of five. The abuse was reported to have occurred between May and August of 2021. Allegedly Hubbard forced the children to touch his penis while he touched theirs. He faces life in prison if convicted of at least two of the Class X felonies.
Hubbard had also served as the former Rosebud Theatre's president before resigning in 2014. The establishment went on to become the Effingham Performance Center. He also volunteered as a cook for the annual Christmas Day dinner hosted by FISH for 25 years. His last year was 2019.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced Illinois sex abuse victim lawyer who represents victims and their families in civil lawsuits. During a recent discussion, he provided some information regarding filing a lawsuit for victims of sexual abuse at a daycare.
"Parents trust daycares with their children. They are trusted to keep the children safe, educate them, and help them develop. Unfortunately, that trust is often broken in the most unthinkable way. When sexual abuse occurs, it is critical to ensure the truth comes out and all responsible are held accountable for their actions."
"No family should have to suffer the nightmare that their child was sexually abused at an in-home daycare. However, when it does, we must investigate to see if it could have been prevented. Sometimes abuse could have been prevented if someone in authority had stepped in. Many agencies regulate in-home daycares, and safety plans for both prevention and reporting should be in place, such as enforcing background checks for all staff and volunteers. Failure to implement safety measures could deem the third party liable in a civil lawsuit."
"Daycare sexual abuse victims and their families should consult with an experienced sex abuse victim lawyer to explore their legal rights. The lawyer can analyze the case to see all parties that could be held responsible for the sexual abuse. Often, financial compensation may be awarded to the victim for their damages."