- Rich Klein
Summitville Fire Chief, Who Is Also Mamakating Highway Superintent, Arrested By State Police
Updated: Jun 1, 2022
INDICTED BY ORANGE COUNTY GRAND JURY ON ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE THAT BEGAN IN 2000
STATE POLICE CONDUCTED INVESTIGATION OVER 'SEVERAL' MONTHS
(This story was last updated at 3 pm on Wednesday)
GOSHEN - Robert Hufcut, chief of the Summitville Fire Company who is also serving his second consecutive term as Highway Superintendent for the Town of Mamakating, was arrested by New York State Police late Tuesday afternoon on allegations of child sex abuse that date back to 2000.
Hufcut, a former resident of Orange County, was charged with predatory sexual assault against a child and course of sexual conduct against a child, which are both felonies.
On Wednesday, the New York State Police, which is the lead agency in the investigation, issued the following statement:
"The New York State Police announce the arrest of Robert Hufcut, age 55 of Wurtsboro for Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child and Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child, both felonies. A several month-long investigation was conducted by the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, which was ultimately presented to an Orange County Grand Jury. The Grand Jury voted to indict Hufcut. An indictment warrant was issued and Hufcut was arrested on May 31, 2022. He was arraigned in Orange County Court and remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash or $150,000 bond. This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with any additional information is encouraged to contact the New York State Police, Middletown (845) 344-5300. "
Hufcut was arraigned Tuesday afternoon before Orange County Court Judge Craig S. Brown and plead not guilty. Hufcut was remanded to the jail and scheduled to return to court on June 7, according to records.
Christopher Borek, a spokesperson for Orange County DA David Hoovler, said that the indictment alleges that the incidents involving the child occurred between October 1, 2000 and August 2, 2001.
Borek told The SullivanTimes that Assistant District Attorney Michael Purcell will prosecute the case.
Hufcut is represented by Chris Sevier, a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society of Orange County. The SullivanTimes left a voice mail for Sevier on Wednesday morning.
A warrant for Hufcut's arrest was issued by the Orange County District Attorney's office on May 23, court records show.
In New York State, there is no statute of limitations in child sex abuse criminal cases if a victim of sexual abuse was younger than 11 years old when the abuse occurred.
Meanwhile, it's unclear what specific actions the Town of Mamakating will take regarding its Highway Department.
JoAnne Salomone, deputy superintendent of Mamakating's Highway Department, is currently in charge of its operations, according to Town Clerk Jean Dougherty.
A source told The SullivanTimes that the Mamakating Town Board is awaiting guidance from its town attorney.
As for the Summitville Fire Company, Mark Wharton is listed as the 1st Assistant Chief but could not be reached for comment at press time.
(THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY)