• Grosse Pointe Ex-Coach In Porn Case Taped Players

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    robert-bopp

    Grosse Pointe — A former state champion high school hockey coach who recently pleaded guilty to child pornography charges secretly taped his players in the locker room last season, according to the school district’s lawyer.

    On at least two occasions, Robert Bopp, who coached the Grosse Pointe South High School hockey team for 17 years, used a camera in the locker room after practice to tape his players as they changed clothes.

    Grosse Pointe school officials found out about the tapings in August from the FBI, which found the tapes in a search of Bopp’s Taylor home. The FBI asked the district not to notify players and their parents until their investigation was complete.

    Letters were sent home to roughly 20 players and their parents about two weeks ago.

    In the letter, school board President Alice Kosinski called Bopp’s actions “reprehensible” and said the district “deeply regrets” players were violated in such a way.

    “We wanted to contact the kids and parents involved (shortly after the district found out) and were asked not to because they (the FBI) didn’t want to compromise the investigation,” said Mark McInerney, the district’s general counsel. ” … Had it been our choice, we would’ve notified them sooner.”

    Bopp, who led the Grosse Pointe South hockey team to a state championship in 2007, faces at least 15 years in prison after pleading guilty Nov. 19 to two counts of producing child pornography and one count of attempting to produce child pornography.

    Earlier this summer, a 17-year-old boy testified during a preliminary exam that Bopp had paid him when he was 14 to have oral sex with another man, which Bopp videotaped. The man was identified as James McBee, 20, of Highland Township, who also was charged in the case.

    “In 2008 in Taylor, I videotaped a sexual act performed by … a minor,” Bopp told a federal judge during the Nov. 19 hearing.

    McInerney said some parents have contacted the district after receiving the letter, and reaction has been “what you’d expect.”

    “Very disappointed and saddened and wondering how something like this could happen,” he said.

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