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District sued over officer's misconduct

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 17:51:58-05

LANSING, Mich. — Athziry Pilar claims the Lansing School District never contacted her during its investigation into Matthew Priebe--that includes the former superintendent, Yvonne Canul and mark Coscarella, who was deputy superintendent at the time.

She was sexually abused by a former Lansing Schools Resource Officer and now she's suing him and the school district.

Pilar went public with her accusations against Officer Priebe last year. She told News 10's Carla Bayron why she thinks filing the lawsuit is the right thing to do.

From September 2015 through May 2017, Pilar said Priebe subjected her to sexual harassment and sexual assault on and off campus at Eastern High School.

"When I was crying out for help, nobody wanted to help. Nobody paid attention. It was swept under the rug," Pilar said.

The lawsuit filed against Priebe and the Lansing School District names other defendants including Former Superintendent Yvonne Camal Canul, Mark Coscarella, who was deputy superintendent at the time, Former Principal Donna Phol and Teacher Kimberly Petroff.

Pilar said they all had knowledge of the harassment and failed to protect her.

"Nobody ever did a Title 9 investigation on me. Nobody asked me what happened. Nobody from the school district reached out to apologize or see how I was doing," Pilar said.
Pilar said the whole ordeal harmed her mentally and psychologically.
Pilar said the whole ordeal harmed her mentally and psychologically.
"School was horrible. Grades dropped. It was awful. After now, with the courts, that was a nightmare," Pilar said.
"School was horrible. Grades dropped. It was awful. After now, with the courts, that was a nightmare," Pilar said.
A big part of filing the lawsuit, Pilar said was to get justice.
A big part of filing the lawsuit, Pilar said was to get justice.
"To get my peace of mind along with showing the school district that this isn't okay. They have to stop ignoring these complaints. more has to be done," Pilar said.
"To get my peace of mind along with showing the school district that this isn't okay. They have to stop ignoring these complaints. more has to be done," Pilar said.
Pilar is suing for compensatory and punitive damages.
Pilar is suing for compensatory and punitive damages.
A spokesperson for Lansing Schools said the district doesn't comment on pending litigation.
A spokesperson for Lansing Schools said the district doesn't comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit is just the latest sex-assault-related problem for the Lansing School District.
The lawsuit is just the latest sex-assault-related problem for the Lansing School District.
A group of survivors will be attending Thursday night's board meeting to demand the district stop considering Mark Coscarella for the open superintendent's job.
A group of survivors will be attending Thursday night's board meeting to demand the district stop considering Mark Coscarella for the open superintendent's job.
Coscarella is accused of sexually harassing a former student teacher and of providing pornography to minors when he coached the Holt baseball team.
Coscarella is accused of sexually harassing a former student teacher and of providing pornography to minors when he coached the Holt baseball team.

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