Plea Deal Sought in Hockey Coach's Assault Case

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August 31, 2009


Plea deals sought in hockey coach's assault case

BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A Co-defendant in the sexual assault case against a former Grosse Pointe South High School hockey coach hopes to strike a plea deal before trial, his lawyer said today.

Meanwhile, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lora Weingarden said any possible plea offer to Robert Bopp, who coached the boys' team, will be made by Sept. 30.


Bopp, 53, of Taylor is accused of sexually assaulting a Farmington Hills boy, and faces three counts of criminal sexual conduct and three counts of child sexually abusive activity.


Co-defendant James McBee, 20, of Highland Township faces the same charges. Both men, who are being held without bond, appeared in Wayne County Circuit Court today for a pretrial hearing in front of Judge Linda Parker.


A 17-year-old testified during a July preliminary examination that McBee introduced him to Bopp. He said he was paid $100 one time and about $50 a second time to engage in sex. He said he was not forced to engage in sex and that he wanted money to buy drugs.


McBee's lawyer John Freeman said his client was also a victim and was 17 at the time of the alleged offense.


"He was a voluntary participant for money," Freeman said.


Freeman said he also hopes to cut a plea deal. Both cases are scheduled for trial on Dec. 7.


"I'm optimistic that we're going to resolve this case short of a trial," he said.


McBee will be back in court Friday with his attorney to ask for a bond reduction.


Bopp's attorney Chris Andreoff said he will listen to any plea deals but prosecutors have not made any offers.


Weingarden also said the case is still under investigation, adding "it's never too late" for other potential victims to come forward.