A sexual assault case filed by a former altar boy against a former New Bedford priest has been settled.

(For Immediate Release May 9, 2023) 

A sexual assault case filed by a former altar boy against a former New Bedford priest has been settled.

Jason Medeiros was a former altar boy at St. Anthony of Padua Church in New Bedford and participated in a Catholic youth group. Both were supervised by Father Richard Degagne, according to a press release issued by Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian.

According to the complaint, Degagne, who was ordained in 1982 and is now in his late 60s, was working with St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford from around 1986 until 1991. Before being suspended from ministry, he worked in East Freetown, Attleboro, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton. He presently resides in Brownfield, Maine, and is listed on the diocesan website as ‘faculties removed’. The settled lawsuit claims that between the ages of 12 and 13 in the late 1980s, Degagne repeatedly sexually assaulted Medeiros in the rectory and in Degagne's automobile. The lawsuit claims that Degagne also took 12-year-old Medeiros on an overnight visit to Maine in or around 1988 when he allegedly assaulted him.

We stand in ovation for Jason Medeiros. Children are safer when predators and those who shield them are held accountable. It is also critical that parishioners and the public are better informed about the true extent of clergy abuse in Massachusetts and beyond. We know it takes a lot of courage and conviction for victims to step forward and we are certain that this example will inspire others to get the help they need.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected], 814-341-8386)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)



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