WATERTOWN, N.Y. – A former bus driver who admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl received a sentence Thursday of probation with no jail time as part of a plea deal.
Shane M. Piche, 26, was sentenced by Judge James P. McClusky to 10 years’ probation and will be registered as a Level 1 sex offender, reports the Watertown Daily News. In February, Piche pleaded guilty to third-degree rape.
New York State Police said Piche met the victim through his job as a bus driver, but the sexual assault occurred at his home.
Piche was also charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly providing the underage victim with alcohol.
Despite the district attorney's request for Piche to receive a Level 2 sex offender designation, Judge McClusky said Level 1 was more appropriate because Piche had no prior arrests and there was only one victim. A Level 1 offender is considered to be at low risk of committing the crime again and is not included in online sex offender databases.
"He'll be a felon for the rest of his life," Eric Swartz, Piche's defense attorney, told WWNY. "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."
The victim's mother wrote in an impact statement, "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."