Lawsuits accusing priests, counselor of sexual abuse filed against 2 SoCal schools in light of new law


December 28, 2019

By Jessica De Nova and staff

Three lawsuits accusing former priests and a counselor of sexual abuse were filed the last week of December in light of a new law kicking in Jan. 1.

Nicole Bonilla said she suffered abuse at the hands of her guidance counselor in the 90s at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana.

“I will not send my kids to Mater Dei, ever,” Bonilla said.

According to Bonilla and her attorneys, administrators at the school covered up the alleged act and some were still working at Mater Dei when Bonilla’s complaint was filed more than two decades later.

“After they asked me all my questions they said that they were basically going to make sure it never happens again so I thought that there would be some form of justice or consequence,” Bonilla said.

Bonilla said neither her parents nor police were ever called. The accused counselor, Bernie Balsis, was gone a few months later.

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