Former St. Mary's Pastor Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor
By Ryan Bonner
April 15, 2019
A former pastor at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in East Islip has been accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 40 years ago.
The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, the current pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, "has voluntarily agreed to step down immediately from all ministry" while an investigation takes place, said Sean Dolan, the director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
The alleged abuse was only recently reported through the diocese's Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), Dolan said.
The allegation against Peterson has been reported to civil authorities. Newsday reported that the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office is investigating.
Peterson was a priest in Suffolk County for 35 years – including lengthy stints at St. Joseph's in Babylon and St. Mary's in East Islip, according to his bio posted online. He left St. Mary's in 2008 for Our Lady of Fatima.
Dolan said "the diocese is not aware that any other such allegations of misconduct have been made against Father Peterson."