Diocese: Priest in Port Washington steps aside after abuse allegation


April 15, 2019

By Bart Jones

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson most recently served at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church. The allegation stems from decades ago, the diocese said.

A parish priest in Manorhaven Port Washington has stepped down while law enforcement authorities investigate an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago, the Diocese of Rockville Centre said Monday.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson has been serving as pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in the village of Manorhaven. Diocese officials announced the move Sunday during Masses at the church, parishioners said.

Peterson could not be reached immediately for comment.

The diocese has notified law enforcement authorities of the allegation, diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said. The diocese is not aware of any other allegations against Peterson, Dolan said.

The Suffolk County district attorney’s office learned of the allegation Saturday, said spokeswoman Sheila Kelly.

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