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David Mittleman
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Michigan Catholic High School Rocked by Abuse Charges


In a story that has been developing over the last 6 months, a former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest has been arraigned on criminal sexual conduct charges stemming from alleged misconduct about 30 years ago.  James Francis Rapp worked at Lumen Christi in the early 1980s as a teacher, priest, and wrestling coach.  Rapp is currently in prison in Oklahoma after being sentenced in 1999 for similar charges.

History of Abuse

Records released in the early 2000s reveal that Rapp was known to have a history of abuse by 1986, when he left Lumen Christi.  According to contemporary news reports, Dr. Frank Valcour at the St. Luke Institute in Maryland determined that Rapp suffered from a sexual disorder and should not be unsupervised around minors.  Despite the doctor’s finding, Rapp was allowed to transfer to a church in Duncan, Oklahoma.  The Archdiocese of Oklahoma denies knowing of Rapp’s history when it approved the transfer.

Long-Awaited Justice

Two civil lawsuits were filed against Rapp in 1994 for alleged wrongdoing while at Lumen Christi.  However, because Michigan has a draconian civil statute of limitations for sexual assault claims, other victims have been unable to hold Rapp accountable in our civil courts.  The criminal statute of limitations is much more forgiving, though, and earlier this year Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed criminal sexual conduct charges against Rapp.  Rapp was arraigned last week.


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  1. Judy Jones says:
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    It’s still not too late to speak up about being sexually abused. Let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by James Francis Rapp, will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement no matter how long ago it happened. Child predators need to be kept behind bars and away from kids.
    Silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

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    Kudos to the brave men who have come forward to hold an alleged dangerous pedophile accountable for his sexual abuse. It is an honor for Road to Recovery to work with some of the men and help them in their pursuit of justice.

    Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.
    Road to Recovery, Inc.
    P.O. Box 279
    Livingston, NJ 07039

  3. Aline Frybarger says:
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    Thank you David for posting this.