Lansing, MI — For those who doubt the existence of blue privilege and the ability of cops to escape accountability for unspeakable crimes, the following case should serve as proof it is real. When an officer of the law is caught exploiting and abusing society's most vulnerable — children — and they can escape any significant jail time, this is definitive proof of blue privilege. Disgraced Lansing police officer Matthew Priebe is all the proof you need.
In August, Priebe pleaded no contest to second-degree criminal sexual conduct, attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, misconduct in office and two counts of assault and battery. The charges all stemmed from his role as a school resource officer and the repeated sexual assault of multiple young girls while on the job. In exchange for his no-contest plea, prosecutors dropped the charge of distributing sexually explicit material to a minor. However, he was sentenced to just one year in jail.
The charge of distributing sexually explicit material to a minor was dropped in spite of prosecutors having the photos of Priebe's erect penis that he sent to the children. The Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt said that Priebe's plea deal would guarantee that he would spend no more than 12 months in jail and they followed through on their promise. This former school cop will, however, have to register as a sex offender.
"To say you violated your role as a police officer would be an understatement," Judge Joyce Draganchuk said to Priebe at his sentencing Tuesday, according to CNN-affiliate WILX.
Court records show that Priebe sent photos of himself to the child victims of him sitting on the couch with his erect penis exposed. He would also send videos of himself in the shower at the police department.
According to the Lansing State Journal,
The youngest victim connected to the charges was 14 and the oldest was 17 at the time of the sexual assault, Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Angela Hunt testified at a hearing that led to criminal charges. The assaults took place during a three-year period.
The then-17-year-old told investigators Priebe said he wished she had a fake ID, and that he wanted to take her out of state with him, Hunt testified. He told her he wished he could kiss her, and attempted to kiss her for five or six months.
Priebe played with the holes in her jeans near her thigh and would ask her if she wanted to touch his penis, Hunt said.
During a ride along, Priebe stopped his patrol vehicle and attempted to kiss the girl, Hunt said. When she tried to push him off, Priebe grabbed her hand and pulled it toward his crotch.
The younger girls were sexually assaulted on school campus in Priebe's office. Hunt testified that the officer gave the girls his phone number and would FaceTime them as he drove his patrol car.
According to the testimony, one of the girls went into Priebe's office to say hello before a sporting event when the officer shut the door and physically held her in the room with his arms. Priebe then grabbed the girl and lifted up her dress. As the girl tried to pull her dress back down, Priebe continued to lift it up.
Another of the victims chose to publicly come forward and her testimony is nothing short of heart breaking.
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Athziry Pilar was 16 when she was introduced to Priebe by the school's security officer because Pilar wanted to be a cop when she grew up. In her victim impact statement, she wrote that the emotional toll of Priebe's abuse was overwhelming, causing her to skip school and fail classes because she was scared of what Priebe might do.
Priebe sent her inappropriate text messages and forced her to hold his bare genitals, she said, according to the report.
"I was in my own prison for 3 years. I was forced to be in school, where I wasn't safe, I was abused, over and over again," the statement said.
"I don't know that that's going to act as a deterrent to other people," Pilar's attorney Karen Truszkowski told CNN in regards to Priebe's sentence. "I'm concerned he's going to go out and do it to other kids and that's what we, obviously, what we want to prevent."
But thanks to his special privilege he likely will strike again.
Prior to the plea deal, Priebe was given special privilege throughout the entire ordeal. In fact, he was allowed to miss his probable cause hearing — despite facing a slew of felonies for child sexual assault.
Like most cops do when facing charges, Priebe resigned from the department in June after an investigation was launched into his conduct. Prior to this debacle, Priebe had been an officer for a decade which likely means that there are more than three victims out there.
In the land of the free, child sex abusers get far less time in jail than people caught with a plant. Disgusting indeed.
Sadly, there is a pattern of police officers getting caught preying on children, raping women, and committing other unspeakable crimes—and never going to jail.
Just a few months ago, TFTP reported on the case of California Highway Patrol lieutenant Stephen Robert Deck who was given probation for attempting to have sex with a 13-year-old in 2006. The officer was caught in an undercover sting operation set up by police to catch pedophiles in the act of trying to have sex with kids. Unlike most of the other 12 defendants in the case, who were sentenced to at least one year in prison, Deck was afforded probation simply because he wore a badge.
Although every other person caught in the same sting received jail time, Deck's badge apparently granted him special privilege. What's more, this child predator was allowed to keep his taxpayer-funded medical retirement. And we call this "justice" in the land of the free.