A former New York bus driver who admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl he met while driving the bus will spend no time in jail, as the judge considered him a low-risk offender, the Watertown Daily Times reports.
On April 25, Jefferson County Judge James McClusky handed a lenient sentence to 26-year-old Shane Piche, who pleaded guilty in February to raping the teenage girl at his Ridge Road home. Piche received ten years of probation but no jail time; he was also assigned the lowest level on New York’s sex-offender registry. Judge McClusky reportedly deemed this appropriate because Piche “had no prior arrests and there was only one victim in this plea.”
The Daily Times reports that Piche’s defense attorney, Eric T. Swartz, feels good about the controversial sentencing, even though Piche will be “a felon for the rest of his life.”
“He’s on the sex-offender registry for a long time,” Swartz said, though because he is the lowest level of sex offender, Piche’s personal information will not appear in online sex-offender databases. “Maybe not the rest of his life because of the level, but this isn’t something that didn’t cause him pain and this isn’t something that didn’t have consequences.”
The ruling came as a shock to much of the public, and notably, the mother of the teenage girl, who has remained anonymous. In a statement provided to WWNY TV, the mother wrote, “I wish Shane Piche would have received time in jail for the harm he caused to my child. He took something from my daughter she will never get back and has caused her to struggle with depression and anxiety.”