Fr. Peter Covas – Diocese of San Bernardino

On Behalf of | Sep 24, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Peter Covas

Diocese of San Bernardino

Ordained: 1957

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1960-1970: Notre Dame High School (Riverside, CA)
  • 1971-1981: St. Catherine’s of Alexandria (Riverside, CA)
  • 1981-1983: Our Lady of Fatima (San Bernardino, CA)
  • 1983-1990: Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral (San Bernardino, CA)
  • 1990-1992: Holy Family Church (Hesperia, CA)
  • 1992-2002: St. Peter and St. Paul (Alta Loma, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Peter Covas:

According to media reports, after a voluntary review of internal files in 2002, the Diocese of San Bernardino turned over to the police a list of 20 priests who were allegedly guilty of sexual abuse. Covas was one of the names on the list. Soon after in 2003, two men filed a civil suit accusing Covas of sexually abusing them as teenagers. One alleged victim was abused from the time he was 14 up until he was 25 years old. The other claimed he was about 15 years old in 1970 when Covas began abusing him.

After serving forty-four years as a priest, Covas retired in April 2002, amid the accusations. After a year-long criminal investigation that ended in April 2003, he was not charged with any crimes. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department did release, however, a report which revealed that Covas had been arrested twice, in 1987 for public masturbation in an adult bookstore, and in 1988, for disorderly and lewd conduct in public. The Diocese of San Bernardino said it had no knowledge of the arrests. Covas’ lawyer, however, stated that he had told then-Bishop Philip Straling of his convictions.

Upon learning of Covas’ criminal history, he was barred from ministry. Less than a year later, though, in 2004, he was reinstated as a retired priest in good standing. His name was included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. His personnel file was released in October 2010.

Covas died in 2004.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in San Bernardino, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.