Victims of pedophile priest fight to keep him from being released

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By Kevin Dietz – Reporter, Derick Hutchinson
September 27, 2016

DETROIT – A Michigan prosecutor is teaming up with a group of men who were sexually abused as boys by their priest to try to keep the pedophile from being released on parole.

The incidents happened over 30 years ago, but they’re coming forward now as the priest is up for parole in Oklahoma.

Only new charges can keep the priest behind bars.

Abused by the priest as children, the victims say its time to speak up so that it never happens again.

“He knelt beside the bed I was in,” John Wood said. “He held my hand … said the Lord’s Prayer … and then climbed in bed with me … and had his way with me.”

The men are being called heroes in a horrific case of abuse.

“For me, I was a sophomore,” Chuck Smitchler said. “I was 15 at the time. It started on the wrestling team. He was the wrestling coach. It was the first time I ever wrestled.” …

Father James Rapp was a priest and wrestling coach at Michigan’s Jackson Lumen Christi High School from 1980 to 1986. He had moved around the country over the years, living in Philadelphia, New York, Illinois and Utah. In Oklahoma, he picked up a molestation charge that sent him to prison.

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