Despite pleading guilty to charges of third-degree rape of a 14-year-old girl, the 25-year-old male bus driver who committed the act will receive no jail time, pay only minimal fines, and will be required to register only as a level 1 sex offender which will not include him in online databases.
According to New York State Senate legislation, rape in the third degree is a class E felony and punishable by up to four years in prison.
Bus Driver Gave Alcohol to Young Girl
The bus driver who pled guilty in the case, Shane Piche, allegedly met the victim last year through his then-job in Watertown City School District, which is located in upstate New York.
Piche was initially charged by prosecutors with second-degree rape, as well as, endangering the welfare of a child by providing alcohol to the victim before the assault, and first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child.
At his sentencing, the judge gave Piche 10 years probation, a fine of $375 in court fees and surcharges, as well as, a $1,000 special sex offender registration fee. Piche is also required to register as a Level 1 sex offender, which is considered a low risk of committing the crime again and is not included in online sex offender databases.
A petition to recall Judge James P. McClusky had amassed nearly 4,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
Prosecutors were seeking that Piche register as a Level 2 offender, but the judge reduced it because the defendant had no prior criminal offenses.