Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue announced the success of Michigan's student safety initiative, OK2SAY, in its first semester. Since the start of this school year, OK2SAY has already generated 410 confidential tips submitted by Michigan students. These tips included reports of bullying, suicide threats, and child abuse. "If even one child's life is saved by OK2SAY, this program will have been a success. OK2SAY has passed its first semester with flying colors," said Attorney General Bill Schuette.
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- Schuette Charges St. Clair County Man in Alleged Murder-For-Hire Scheme
January 22, 2015
LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that his Criminal Division has charged Michael Christopher Still, 28, of St. Clair County with solicitation of murder in Branch County and a further charge as a fourth habitual offender. The Attorney General’s Criminal Division will be handling the prosecution based on a request from the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office.
Still is currently being held at Ionia Correctional Facility on unrelated charges. The charges filed by Schuette follow an investigation by Schuette’s Criminal Division and the Michigan State Police.
“A murder-for-hire plot would have devastating consequences for the victim and the victim’s family,” said Schuette. “Thankfully, law enforcement was able to thwart this alleged plan before it could be carried out.”
On April 10, 2014, officials at Lakeland Correctional Facility intercepted a letter that was returned to Still as undeliverable. In the letter, Still allegedly attempted to solicit a former prison inmate to kill Still’s ex-girlfriend.
On January 21, 2015 in 3-A District Court, Schuette filed one count of Homicide – Solicitation of Murder, a felony, which carries a punishment of up to life in prison, against Michael Christopher Still. Schuette also filed notice to supplement Still as a fourth time habitual offender due to his prior criminal record.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
- Schuette Statement to Commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 19, 2015
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today issued the following statement commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. day:
"While we all work to emulate the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King by bringing light and love into to our daily lives, today as a country we pause to reflect on a life spent working to unite our country by ending the evils of segregation and discrimination.
Dr. King's legacy lives on in many ways, including words I would like to share with you today:
‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.' — Martin Luther King Jr."
Through light and love, we find more understanding and the ability to remain agreeable and find common ground, even when we disagree.
- Statement by Attorney General Schuette on SCOTUS Action in DeBoer v. Snyder
January 16, 2015
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today made the following statement in response to the United States Supreme Court to take up the case of DeBoer v. Snyder:
"This case involves people of good will, sincerely motivated, on both sides. All of Michigan's voters, as well as the citizens of our nation, will be well served by the court's decision to decide this case and resolve such an important issue.
"Therefore, I am pleased that the Supreme Court has chosen to review this case, so that important issues involving the fundamental institution of marriage, our Constitution and the rights of voters will be decided.
"Court cases, by their very nature, create an adversarial atmosphere between those representing the two sides of an argument. But in a democracy, reasonable people can disagree without being disagreeable."
- Attorney General Schuette Statement On Caspar v. Snyder Decision
January 15, 2015
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today made the following statement after a ruling by Judge Mark Goldsmith of Michigan's Eastern District United States District Court:
"We are reviewing Judge Goldsmith's decision but as I have said repeatedly, the sooner the United States Supreme Court makes a decision on this issue the better it will be for Michigan and America."
- Schuette Charges Former Michigan Priest in 1980s Sexual Abuse Cases
January 12, 2015
LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his Criminal Division has charged James Francis Rapp, 74, currently incarcerated in another state, with multiple felonies for his alleged sexual assault of several Michigan boys in the 1980s. Rapp served as a priest, teacher, maintenance supervisor, and wrestling coach at Jackson Lumen Christi (JLC) High School in Jackson, Michigan from September 1980 through February 1986.
The charges follow an extensive investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department with support from Schuette's Criminal Division.
"People who abuse their authority by preying on children must be brought to justice, no matter when the crime was committed," said Schuette. "Our aggressive, victim-centered approach has brought us one step closer to securing justice for these brave men who stepped forward to tell of the abuse they endured many years ago."
"I would like to praise the work of Sergeant Tim Schlundt in this investigation. Many hours were spent in an attempt to gather facts about this case," said Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand. "Despite the age of this case, the lives of the victims continue to be impacted. It is my hope that the opportunity for victims to have their day in court will bring some degree of comfort."
In spring of 2013, more than 30 years after the alleged crimes occurred, two of Rapp's victims reported the alleged sexual abuse to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, who then launched an extensive investigation revealing several more victims.
JLC was not Rapp's first church or school assignment. Rapp was ordained in 1959 and held teaching assignments in Philadelphia (1959 – 1961), Salt Lake City (1968 – 1973), and in Lockport, New York (1979 – 1980). Following Rapp's resignation at JLC, Rapp served as a priest and teacher in Naperville, Illinois (1987 – 1990) and Duncan, Oklahoma (1990 – 1998).
On January 12, 2015, Schuette filed the following charges against James Francis Rapp in Jackson's 12th District Court:
Three counts of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison; and,
10 counts of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
If convicted of the first degree sexual assault counts, Rapp must also register as a sex offender for life in Michigan.
Rapp is currently incarcerated in another state. He is eligible for discharge in summer 2016. Attorney General Schuette will immediately begin the extradition process to bring Rapp to Michigan to face charges.
Citizens who believe they may have information about Rapp's alleged sexual abuse are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Criminal Division at 313-456-0180.
Cold Case Sexual Assault Project and Role in Investigation
This case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Schuette's Cold Case Sexual Assault Project (AGCCSA). Created in 2012, AGCCSA is funded by a United States Department of Justice-Office of Violence Against Women grant to combat sexual assault and sexual violence.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.