Shane Piche, a 26-year-old school bus driver, befriended a 14-year-old girl who rode on his bus, often giving her gifts. On June 10th, he invited her over to his house where he gave her alcohol and once she passed out, he raped her. He will not serve a single day in jail.
A New York State Supreme Court judge handed down a punishment of 10 years probation, which has lead to a public outcry. According to court records, Piche will only be a level one sex offender, which is classified as a “low risk of re-offense.”
CNN reported his address will not be made public in the sex offender database, only his zip code. Piche was also ordered to pay a one time fee of $1,425.
Patricia Dziuba, the Jefferson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor who worked on the case, explained that the victim met Piche throughout the school year and that they “maintained communication” on social media where he would often ask her to come over to his house.
Dziuba told CNN that they were asking for jail time between 4 years and up to 10 years with probation upon release. To the surprise of many on Thursday, Jefferson County Judge James P. McClusky decided to only give 10 years probation as he indicated that Piche was a first-time offender and no longer has contact with the victim, USA Today reported.
His probation stipulations include informing the local police whenever he moves, and he cannot be within a certain range of children. Piche pleaded guilty to third-degree rape. The victim’s mother went on a local radio station where she said: “He took something from my daughter she will never get back and has caused her to struggle with depression and anxiety.”
Piche was only charged with third-degree rape as the rape was not violent, Dziuba explained. It isn’t uncommon for third-degree rape charges in New York State to result in a one-time fine only.
Eric Swartz, the attorney who represented Piche, said in an interview: “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.”