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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Ex-priest gets 20-40 years in prison for sexual assault

photo_-_james_rapp.jpg
Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections
James Rapp

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - A former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for sexual abuse connected to his work at a Michigan high school in the 1980s.

  At age 75, James Rapp likely will die in prison. He's been in prison for similar crimes in Oklahoma, one of many stops as a priest.

  Rapp's victims from Lumen Christi High School spoke for more than two hours in a Jackson courtroom Friday. He pleaded no contest in February to criminal sexual conduct.

  Defense attorney Alfred Brandt said Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach.

  An investigation began three years ago when victims approached the sheriff's department. Attorney General Bill Schuette says Rapp's prison sentence "hopefully offers some solace" to victims.

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