Father Peter Covas
Diocese of San Diego
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 police a list of 20 priests who were allegedly guilty of sexual abuse. Father Peter Covas was one of the names on the list. Soon after in 2003, two men filed a civil suit accusing Father 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 Father Covas began abusing him.
After serving forty-four years as a priest, Father Covas retired in April 2002, amid the accusations. After a yearlong 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 Father 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. Father Covas’ lawyer, however, stated that he had told then Bishop Philip Straling of his convictions.
Upon learning of Father 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. He died shortly after in May 2004. 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.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Diego in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Diego now have legal options due to a temporary change in the law, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.
Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922) or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options today.