Former Priest Facing Thirteen CSC Charges

CSC Charges Stem From Alleged Sexual Abuse of Students

On January 12th, 74-year-old James Francis Rapp’s life took a turn for the worse. The former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest, who during his time at the high school had served as a maintenance man, wrestling coach and a teacher, was charged with 13 criminal sexual conduct charges.

Rapp is currently in prison in Oklahoma, serving time on several felony charges originating in 1999, but is eligible for release as early as next summer. Attorney General Bill Schuette has said that he intends to begin the extradition process immediately.

Rapp is facing three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony which includes penetration of the victim and is punishable by up to life in prison, and 10 counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct which could result in a sentence of up to 15 years.

According to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, the CSC charges are the result of an investigation that took almost two years to complete. It began when two men who had been students during Rapp’s time at Lumen Christi High School, came forward in 2013 with allegations against Rapp, claiming that he had sexually abused them.

But as it turns out, they weren’t the first to make this claim, and they may well not be the last.

According to Barbara Dorris, a member of the group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), Rapp is a danger to children and has been for a very long time. She says that he has faced criminal charges in three separate states for sexually abusing children, which is a clear indicator that he is a sexual predator.

And this definition, it seems, falls in line with information that the Church has known about the problems with Rapp for years. A SNAP Press Release in 2010 told of the battle between a Cincinnati based Insurance company and a pair of Catholic Institutions over who should be obligated to pay for the damages caused by Rapp.  The Insurance Company won, and part of the reason for that was the results of a 1986 evaluation conducted by St. Luke’s Institute, a church-run treatment center in Maryland, which claimed that Rapp’s abuse of minors “extends over many years with a number of contacts” and “given the severity of the problem… is important that Father Rapp not be in the presence of youth.”

This has obviously been an ongoing issue for Rapp, who has accrued a number of convictions for similar crimes over the course of his life and is looking at potentially more prison time with these latest CSC charges.

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