Father Robert Donat
Diocese of San Bernardino
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, Father 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 Father Donat sexual abused him. No action was taken. The Diocese of San Bernardino claimed it first learned of the allegations in December 2010.
In 2011, Father 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. he According to the students’ attorney, they all told similar stories in which Father 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 that year, 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, Father 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.
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