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Jackson, Mich. • Victims confronted a former Roman Catholic priest in court Friday as the man — who once worked in Utah — was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for sexually abusing students at a Michigan high school in the 1980s.

A judge heard more than two hours of testimony from six men who described in detail how James Rapp molested them. Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson.

"His crime and position was a murder on my soul," Andy Russell said. "He's a monster and his path of destruction extends far further than it ever should have."

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify victims of sexual abuse, but Russell has talked publicly to the Jackson Citizen Patriot about what happened at the school.

In February, Rapp, 75, pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct. He was in prison in Oklahoma for similar crimes when he was charged in Michigan last year.

He worked in Salt Lake City; Philadelphia; Naperville, Illinois; Duncan, Oklahoma; Jackson, Michigan; and Lockport, New York, before he was defrocked as a priest.

An investigation in Michigan began in 2013, when victims approached the sheriff's department. Some victims said they complained to school officials in the 1980s but no action was taken.

Russell said he was kicked out of Lumen Christi — "the best thing that ever happened to me," the Citizen Patriot reported.

Rapp will be eligible for parole after 20 years. His maximum prison sentence is 40 years.

"It's evident that the only way to heal, move forward and to protect others from this same thing is to bring it out into the open," sad Assistant Michigan Attorney General Angela Povilaiti. "Shed light on it, and expose the truth. And they've done that. They are true heroes in a horrible situation."

Povilaiti said seven men gave victim impact statements at the hearing, including Utahn Charles Colosimo, who along with his brother, Ralph, allege they were molested by Rapp more than 40 years ago.

In a lawsuit filed by the brothers in 2003 in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court, Ralph Colosimo alleged Rapp molested him when Colosimo was an 18-year-old student at Judge Memorial Catholic High School and Rapp was a teacher there in the early 1970s.

Charles Colosimo claimed the priest became a family friend when he was attending Kearns-St. Ann's School and sexually abused him from 1972, when he was about 10 years old, through 1975.

The brothers alleged that school and church leaders knew the priest was a pedophile but did nothing to stop him. According to the lawsuit, Rapp's superiors had received multiple complaints from students by 1969 — the end of his first year of teaching at Judge — that the priest had approached them for sexual favors and touched them inappropriately.

The Colosimo suit, which sought millions of dollars in damages, was believed to be the first in Utah since the national sexual abuse scandal engulfed the U.S. Catholic Church in 2002. Among the defendants were Rapp and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, which encompasses all of Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name sexual abuse victims, but will make exceptions when alleged victims file civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages.

Rapp never responded to the lawsuit and a default judgment was entered against him. The church asked to have the suit thrown out, saying it was filed years past a deadline to bring such actions.

The suit was dismissed by the 3rd District Court and then the Utah Court of Appeals on the grounds that the Colosimos had waited too long to pursue legal action. Under Utah law, they had until age 22, four years after they became adults, to file the suit.

In 2003, Ralph was 49 and Charles was 41.

The Colosimos then took their case to the Utah Supreme Court. In arguments in 2006, neither side denied the brothers had been harmed but attorneys instead focused on the statute-of-limitations issue.

Utah's high court in 2007 upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit, saying precedent stopped it from extending the deadlines for plaintiffs to investigate potential claims arising from their molestation.