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.
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.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.