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Michigan coach sentenced for making porn

DETROIT - A former Michigan high school hockey coach was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison yesterday for making child pornography while engaged in sex acts with minors at his home.

Robert Bopp is a predator who used lies, manipulation, and money to attract troubled teens, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Roth told U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan.

Bopp pleaded guilty in November to producing child pornography. The federal crime grew out of a local investigation into Bopp's paying a teen boy for oral sex. Bopp, 54, of Taylor soon will appear in Wayne County Circuit Court to accept a plea deal in his sexual assault case.

The victims in the sexual incidents were not Bopp's hockey players at Grosse Pointe South High School in suburban Detroit, although investigators found locker-room videos he had secretly recorded of his team during the 2008-09 season.

The former coach guided the Blue Devils to the 2007 state championship game. He's in the Michigan hall of fame for high school hockey coaches. He was fired from the school when charged with sexual assault nearly a year ago.

"There's no excuse for my actions," said Bopp, apologizing yesterday in front of Judge Duggan. "Take into consideration all the good things I've done."

One victim's mother cried as she spoke in court, recalling how Bopp paid her son hundreds of dollars for sex. She said her son was desperate and had a drug addiction.

The mother described how she alerted police after finding strange text messages on the phone belonging to her son, who by then was in a hospital recovering from an overdose.

She said Bopp "was worried" that her son would "wake up and name him."

"How can anyone be so depraved? Bopp is an extremely sick man," the woman said.

The 22-year sentence that Bopp received was seven years more than the mandatory minimum punishment.

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