A New York man has pleaded guilty to raping a young teen when he was working as a bus driver in the Watertown City School District.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, 26-year-old Shane M. Piche entered the plea as part of a deal that resulted in no jail time for the registered Level 1 sex offender.
During a court hearing in February, he pleaded to rape in the third degree. Prosecutors said the victim was a 14-year-old girl Piche met as a bus driver and raped at his residence.
Judge James P. McCusky sentenced him to 10 years of probation, citing his prior clean record and perceived low risk of recidivism.
The district attorney’s office had recommended harsher sentencing, including the stricter Level 2 registration. He was also initially facing charges including unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child.
As it stands, Piche will not be among those sex offenders listed in an online database.
He will be prohibited from contact with minors under 17 with some exceptions, as detailed in an order of protection granted in the case. He’ll also be on the hook for a $1,000 sex-offender registration fee and $375 in court fees.
Piche’s attorney thinks the outcome was appropriate, as reported by WALB.
“He’ll be a felon for the rest of his life,” Eric Swartz said. “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.”
[Featured image: Shane Piche, handout]