New York Bus Driver Who Raped 14YO Girl Gets No Jail Time After Pleading Guilty

A former New York bus driver who admitted to raping a 14-year-old schoolgirl he had met on his route got off with a little more than a slap on the wrist at the sentence hearing last week.
Former New York bus driver pleaded guilty to raping a schoolgirl, still walked away scott-free 5 photos
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Shane Piche worked as a bus driver for the Watertown City School District in upstate New York when the crime happened in June last year. He was arrested in September and initially charged with second-degree rape, first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child by providing alcohol to the victim before the assault.

Had he gone to trial and been found guilty on these charges, he would have been sent to prison and registered as a Level 2 sex offender, which would have meant his address would have been made public. In February this year, though, Piche struck a deal, pleading guilty to a lesser charge, which eventually helped him walk away scott-free.

The Watertown Daily News notes that he pleaded guilty to third-degree rape, as part of the deal. While the victim’s family, along with everybody else, expected at least some jail time, the judge presiding ruled that Piche could go back home and to his regular life because – as he put it – there was “only one” victim, as opposed to multiple. Also, Piche did not have any priors.

Piche was sentenced to 10 years probation and will be registered as Level 1 sex offender, which means his address won’t be made publicly available. He is also barred contact with anyone under 17 and has been fired from his job as a bus driver (doh!).

According to the judge and Piche’s attorney, that’s punishment enough. “He'll be a felon for the rest of his life. He's on the sex offender registry for a long time. 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,” said Eric Swartz, Piche’s defense attorney, told 7 News after the sentencing.

The victim’s mother, who admitted that the girl received various gifts from Piche before the assault and that the girl and other teens would often go to his place to drink spirits, obviously found the sentencing unjust.

“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,” the mother says.

Meanwhile, a petition to have the judge who gave the sentence removed has already topped 60,000 signatures.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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