Bus Driver Convicted Of Raping A 14-Year-Old Girl Gets No Jail Time

Photo: Courtesy Watertown Police Department.
A former bus driver convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl in Watertown, NY, will spend no time in prison, a judge ruled Monday. Shane Piche, a 26-year-old who pleaded guilty to third-degree rape earlier this year, has been sentenced to 10 years probation and assigned to the lowest level status of the state's sex offender registry, against the prosecution's recommendation.
The outcome has caused public outrage because it echoes other high-profile sexual assault cases in which the defendants, usually young white men such as convicted sex offender Brock Turner and accused rapist Jacob Walter Anderson, have received extremely lenient sentences.
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"I wish Shane Piche would have received time in jail for the harm he caused to my child," the girl’s mother said in a statement, according to WWNY. "He took something from my daughter she will never get back and has caused her to struggle with depression and anxiety."
According to the victim's mother, whose name has not been made public due to privacy concerns, Piche was a bus driver in her daughter's school district. She told WWNY that he bought gifts for the 14-year-old before inviting her and other minors to his house, where he raped her. He was arrested in September and charged with second-degree rape. He was also charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child for providing alcohol to the victim.
In February, Piche pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of third-degree rape. The prosecution asked Jefferson County Judge James McClusky to designate Piche as a Level 2 sex offender, which would require for his residential information to be posted on the state's sex offender registry. Instead, McClusky assigned Piche to Level 1, arguing that he was unlikely to re-offend and that he had no prior criminal record. Under state law, Piche's information will not be made public in the sex offender database. As part of his sentence, Piche received a "no contact" protection order and will not be allowed to be alone with minors under the age of 17.
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