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

Associated Press

JACKSON, Mich. — 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.

James Rapp pleads no contest to six counts of criminal sexual conduct in front of Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Susan Beebe on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Jackson, Mich.

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.

Ex-priest pleads no contest to abusing Jackson students

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.