NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The Diocese of Fall River has settled a civil lawsuit with a man who was sexually abused by a New Bedford priest as a child, 12 News has learned.

The Diocese said the victim’s allegations against Fr. Richard Degagne, who had previously been assigned to St. Anthony of Padua Parish, was deemed credible.

Court documents reveal that Jason Medeiros reported being sexually abused by Degagne several times between 1988 and 1989. He was between 12 and 13 years old at the time.

Medeiros virtually attended a media briefing Tuesday, during which the Diocese announced the “low to middle six-figure settlement.”

“I’m definitely glad it’s over, but more still needs to be done,” Medeiros said. “There are a lot more victims out there. I’m not the only one.”

“We definitely need to do something about the statute of limitations, that’s number one,” he added. “Number two, the church needs to be held accountable.”

Court documents state that Medeiros met with Degagne in his bedroom in the rectory of the parish several times, where the two reportedly engaged in explicit sexual behavior.

Degagne also took Medeiros for rides in his car across Massachusetts, according court documents, and even brought him to New Hampshire and Maine.

The Fall River Diocese placed Degagne on administrative leave in November 2019 due to the allegations of misconduct. He served at the parish from 1986 to 1991.

Medeiros tells 12 News he didn’t come forward until he was in his 40s. When asked why, he said it was because he couldn’t comprehend what had happened to him.

“What really shook me to the core was, I was flicking through the channels one day, and I watched that movie ‘Spotlight,'” he said. “I was married at the time and I just started crying throughout the whole movie and then I started to realize.”

“Spotlight” is an Academy Award-winning movie about The Boston Globe’s investigation into the coverup of widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Mitchell Garabedian was featured in the movie for representing victims of abuse and now serves a Medeiros’ attorney.

Garabedian urged more victims to come forward.

“Each and every victim out there, call the police,” he said. “Do not report the sexual abuse to the church because they will try to cover it up as they have for decades. Just call the police.”

12 News reached out to the Diocese, which confirmed that Degagne has been added to the list of credibly accused clergy.

The Diocese said it also offers “supportive services to survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families.” Anyone looking for help can call the Director of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance at (508) 985-6508.