RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — An Inland Empire man has filed the first lawsuit against the Diocese of San Bernardino under California’s new Child Victims Act.

In the suit, Nick Flores said a former priest, Father Louis Perreault, assaulted him when he was an altar boy in the early ’90s at Our Lady of the Valley church in Hemet.

His lawyer filed the lawsuit as a result of AB 218. The California law extends the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse.

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Perreault was a member of the Holy Spirit religious order, which is also named in the lawsuit.

Flores said the lawsuit was the first step to getting his life back.

“I’ve struggled for many years, and I want people to know that these things did happen, they have happened, and I want to do everything I can to make sure that they don’t happen again,” Flores said.

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Attorneys alleged that the San Bernardino Diocese was a known dumping ground for predatory priests.

The diocese has yet to issue a statement in response to the suit.

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