Fr. Robert Donat – Diocese of San Bernardino

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Robert Donat

Diocese of San Bernardino

Ordained: 1966

Removed: 2011

Assigned as follows:

  • 1967: St. Kieran’s (El Cajon, CA)
  • 1968-1969: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (San Ysidro, CA)
  • 1970-1974: St. Anne (San Bernardino, CA)
  • 1975-1976: St. Adelaide Church (Highland, CA)
  • 1977-1979: St. Bernardine (San Bernardino, CA)
  • 1980: St. Anne (San Bernardino, CA)
  • 1969-1993: Aquinas High School (San Bernardino, CA)
  • 1993-2006: Our Lady of Lourdes (Montclair, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Robert Donat:

For forty years, Fr. Robert Donat worked at various parishes throughout San Diego and San Bernardino counties, until his retirement in 2006. He was also a longtime teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School. According to media reports, in 1973, a former student reported to church officials that Donat sexually abused him, yet no action was taken. The Diocese of San Bernardino claimed it first learned of the allegations in December 2010.

In 2011, Donat was accused of sexually abusing at least five more former students when they were teenagers. It was reported that Donat would invite male students to spend the night at his rectory and that he would take them on road trips. According to the students’ attorney, they all told similar stories in which Donat praised them as students and gained their trust. He went out with them socially without making sexual advances and then later either had or attempted to have genital contact with them.

In September of 2011, he was removed from ministry when the allegations were found to be credible. No criminal charges were brought against him due to the statute of limitations.

In October 2018, Donat was included in the Diocese of San Bernardino’s list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. He was permanently banned from ministry and was sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance. His current whereabouts are unknown.

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.