JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A former priest who says prosecutors waited too long to charge him with sexual abuse has lost his case at the Michigan appeals court.

James Rapp was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for molesting students at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson in the 1980s. He was in prison in Oklahoma for similar crimes when he was charged in Michigan in 2015.

The appeals court says any statute of limitations was suspended when Rapp was locked up in Oklahoma. The 3-0 opinion was released Wednesday.

The 77-year-old Rapp pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct. Authorities say he coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach.

Rapp worked in six states before he was defrocked as a priest.