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Priest Cleared in Sex Abuse Inquiry Dies

May 11, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

A San Bernardino County priest who was cleared of sexual molestation allegations has died.

Father Peter Covas, 73, died Sunday morning at San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland of an "age-related" disease, said Father Howard Lincoln, a spokesman for the Diocese of San Bernardino.

Covas was reinstated as a retired priest in good standing last month. He had been removed in April 2002 as pastor at St. Peter and St. Paul church in Rancho Cucamonga after allegations were made that he had abused two male teens.

After a yearlong investigation, prosecutors said there were doubts about the accusers' credibility and announced they would not file charges.

Bishop Gerald R. Barnes reinstated him April 16, allowing him to say Mass and perform sacramental duties.

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From a Times Staff Writer

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