UT--Predator priest who worked in Utah is sentenced again
For immediate release: Sunday, May 1, 2016
On Friday, an already imprisoned serial predator priest who allegedly abused Utah boys was sentenced to 40 more years for hurting other kids in Michigan.
For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he stays behind bars for as long as possible. And we hope that Utah Catholic officials will spread this news and use church bulletins, pulpit announcements, and church websites to aggressively seek out others who he may have hurt. We believe that’s their moral and civic duty.
Church officials can’t recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer and shield child molesting clerics and then walk away when the predators are caught. They have an obligation to do everything possible to find and help every single victim. And they must do all they can to help police and prosecutors pursue other clerics who ignored or concealed the child molesters’ crimes.
We're grateful that Fr. James Francis Rapp was charged again, pled guilty to more child sex crimes.
Because of his crimes in Oklahoma, Fr. Rapp is already in prison. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.
But Michigan’s attorney general filed more child sex charges against him for molesting kids at a Catholic high school in Jackson in the 1980s.
Besides his crimes in Oklahoma and Michigan, Rapp also reportedly assaulted two brothers - Ralph Colosimo and Charles Colosimo - at Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City. We applaud the Colosimo brothers for having the courage and wisdom to step forward, protect others and seek justice.
A five million dollar settlement was paid to his Oklahoma victim.
If you saw, suspected or suffered any crimes or cover ups related to Fr. Rapp, it’s time to find the courage to speak up, so that the vulnerable can be protected, the wounded can be healed and the truth can be exposed and so that cover ups are deterred.
Besides Utah, Michigan and Oklahoma, Fr. Rapp worked in four other states: Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. Since for decades he was part of the Ohio-based Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, we strongly suspect he also spent time in Toledo area.
We strongly urge Catholic officials in each of those states – especially the head of the Salt Lake diocese, Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley, Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas, Lansing Michigan Bishop Earl Boyea and others - to use their vast resources to aggressively reach out to anyone else who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes.
(NOTE –Salt Lake archdiocesan attorney Matthew F. McNulty helped defend Utah Catholic officials in a civil suit involving Rapp.)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.