Former Lansing police officer pleads "no contest" to sex-crime charges

Published: Aug. 12, 2019 at 3:28 PM EDT
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Former Lansing police officer Matthew Priebe pleaded no contest to 5 of the 6 charges against him Monday. He'd been accused of sexually assaulting at least 3 students while he was a school resource officer with Lansing Public Schools.

The plea agreement covered charges of 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Common Law Offense, 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, and two counts of Assault or Assault and Battery. In exchange, prosecutors dropped one count of Distributing Obscene Matter to Children.

Priebe was immediately taken into custody of the Ingham County Sheriff's Office. He will be held without bail until his sentencing on October 2.

News 10 and first told you about Matthew Priebe in the spring of 2018. The Lansing school district was informed of the allegations against him on May 31. Then-Chief Mike Yankowski placed Priebe on administrative leave the same day. Priebe resigned from the force on June 22.

One of his accusers told she was introduced to Priebe by school security guards. She said she was happy to meet someone in the profession she wanted to get into. She said they communicated frequently and that the communication eventually crossed the line. She says Priebe offered to provide alcohol then later groped her and tried to kiss her in his office at Eastern High School. She also described to an incident that happened in Priebe's patrol car on the Lansing River Trail under the Kalamazoo Street bridge:

She says Priebe continued to pressure her for sex and sent her a picture of his penis.

Court transcripts show two other women told police Priebe put his hands on them. The first was 16 years old when she started hanging out in Priebe's office at Eastern High during lunch. Priebe gave her a business card with his cell phone number on it and asked the girl to call him, according to the documents. She claims Priebe would often FaceTime her from his patrol car, one time showing her guns and money and another time undressing and showing off his tattoos. The documents state that the girl said it got physical on May 30, 2018, when Priebe put his hand on her thigh in the patrol car and offered to kiss her.

The second accuser said she was in Priebe's office in March 2018 when he stood over her, grabbed her hand and put it on his groin until she snatched her hand back. The documents state that two months later, Priebe repeatedly tried to lift her dress high enough to almost see her underwear. She pushed his hand away and told him she didn't like that. He responded with, "yeah, I see," according to the documents.

Lansing police Public Information Officer Robert Merritt said Acting Chief Daryl Green and the department as a whole do not have a comment on the plea agreement. The Lansing school district has not responded to a request for a comment yet.

News 10 and will continue to keep you updated on this case as it moves towards sentencing.