UPDATE:: Former priest may be first ever to be charged with sex crimes while already in prison
James Francis Rapp, a former Roman Catholic priest, recently pleaded no contest to charges that he had sexual contact with students while he was a wrestling coach and a teacher at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson.
Rapp faces up to 20 years in prison. The trouble is, he’s already in prison.
Rapp, 75, is currently serving a 40-year sentence for sexually abusing a pair of teenage boys in Oklahoma.
In terms of criminal cases, Clohessy gives credit to Michigan lawmakers for enabling child sex abuse victims to file charges against their predators. However, where the problem lies is with civil cases where the state ranks among the worst.
“Michigan has some of the most restrictive statutes of limitations in the country,” said Clohessy. “The problem with that is that it’s the civil cases that expose both those who commit and those who conceal abuse.”
UPDATE:: Former Jackson priest pleads no contest to 6 counts of criminal sexual conduct_
On Monday, a former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest pleaded no contest to six counts of criminal sexual conduct, which spanned a half decade of abuse at the school.According to SNAP what makes these charges important,
James Rapp, now 75, pleaded no contest to three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct as well as three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct Monday, Feb. 29, before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Susan Beebe.
As part of the plea, 13 counts of criminal sexual conduct were dismissed, while Rapp will face anywhere from 20 to 40 years in prison as part of a sentencing agreement, Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis said.
We're grateful that an ex-priest has pled guilty to more child sex crimes. We hope this news will prod others that he has hurt to come forward. (See attorney general’s news release below.)
Fr. James Francis Rapp has already been convicted on other child sex charges and is imprisoned. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.
But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed more child sex charges against him for molesting kids at Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson in the 1980s.
Once a child molester is convicted, many people who could be helpful get complacent. They assume his sentence will stand, his appeals will fail, and he’ll be kept away from kids for many years. But often, child molesters – especially clerics – get top notch defense lawyers, exploit legal technicalities, and escape with little or no jail time. Then, when other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers find this out, it’s too late for them to really make a difference.
So we’re glad Schuette was prudent, pro-active and successful here. Now, the odds that Rapp will ever walk free are even slimmer. And more of his victims feel vindicated.
Prosecutors have added six additional charges against a former Michigan Catholic school priest, teacher and wrestling coach in connection with reported sexual assaults of boys more than three decades ago.
James Rapp now faces 19 criminal sexual conduct charges after two more alleged victims came forward.
The charges were amended Friday at a district court hearing.
Former Lumen Christi Teacher to Stand Trial