Peter Covas was arrested in 1987 and 1988 for public sexual misconduct in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties when he was caught masturbating in public. In 2002, it was alleged that he had begun a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy in 1974 that continued for over ten years and may have involved a second teenaged boy, as well. In the wake of his removal due to this allegation, his prior arrests came to light, and in 2003, diocesan officials announced that he would be permanently removed from active ministry. However, prosecutors never filed criminal charges. In 2004, one month before he died, Covas was reinstated as a retired priest in good standing by Bishop Gerald Barnes.