Times Herald-Record has reported that sexual abuse allegations have been made against the fire chief of the Summitville Fire Department located at 3978 US-209, Wurtsboro, NY 12790.
On Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 55 year old Robert Hufcut was arrested after being accused of sexually abusing a child in Orange County. Hufcut is the Mamakating highway superintendent and the chief of the Summitville Fire Department. State police had been investigating the county official for several months regarding abuse that occurred between October 1, 2000 and August 2, 2001.
Attorney Laurence Banville is an experienced sexual abuse lawyer who represents victims in civil lawsuits. When interviewed, Laurence shared his insight on the legal rights of those sexually assaulted by a county official or firefighter.
"County official employees, including superintendents and fire chiefs, are positions highly respected by the community people. They have an obligation to work toward the good of the county while offering protection and enforcing laws. Most firefighters and county officials are trustworthy, but lately, reports have been made of some taking advantage of their position of power and trust. The victims of this heinous abuse need to know their legal rights to seek justice."
"When victims report sexual assault by a firefighter or superintendent, a criminal investigation will ensue. This investigation is a vital part of the legal process. Too often, victims and their families may have reasons to additionally file a civil lawsuit against a negligent third party, such as the perpetrator's employer. The abuser's employer may be held liable if they played a negligent role that allowed the abuse to occur. For instance, if previous misconduct complaints were reported but ignored, allowing the suspect to remain employed, they could be held accountable. Additionally, if the county department failed to run a background check in order to reduce the risk of preventable abuse. Victims and their families can consult with an experienced sexual assault lawyer to determine if they have sufficient grounds to file a civil lawsuit."