Shane Piche will serve 10 years probation and not even one night in jail for raping a girl who rode the school bus he drove
A recent sentencing shows just how easily rapists can get away with what they’ve done, even when they admit their crimes, as well as how young, white males are treated by the court system in comparison to others.
Last week in New York, Jefferson County Judge James P. McClusky sentenced 26-year-old Shane Piche to 10 years probation after the man pled guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl that he met at his job driving her school bus.
The judge backed up his completely terrible decision by saying that it was the man’s first arrest and that he had only raped one girl.
Not surprisingly, the story quickly went viral because of the outrageous sentencing.
Piche met the minor while driving his bus for the Watertown City school district, and befriended the girl and several friends. He baited them with little presents, invited them over, and gave the girl alcohol before raping her – and he admitted to all of that in court.
He was originally charged with second-degree rape, first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child, and endangering the welfare of a child. He pled guilty of third-degree rape.
He was expected to receive jail time and Level 2 sex offender status, but instead, he got zero jail time and the more lax Level 1 sex offender status, the lowest level possible. Level 1 offenders are considered low-risk, don’t have to make their address public, and aren’t permanently on the list.
In addition to these wrist-slaps, Piche will get two more insignificant punishments: he has to pay about $1,375 in fines and can’t be alone with anyone under the age of 17.
Among the people most upset with the sentencing is the mother of the rape victim (the victim is not being identified).
“I wish Shane Piche would have received time in jail for the harm he caused to my child,” the victim’s mother said during impact statement, according to WWNY. “He took something from my daughter she will never get back and has caused her to struggle with depression and anxiety.”
The public is also taking action through a petition to recall the judge, which already has over 12,600 signatures.
“One victim is one too many, and Judge McClusky had a responsibility to hold Piche accountable. Judge McClusky is failing as a justice, and he should be removed from his position immediately,” the petition reads.
This is far from the first time that a guilty rapist has gotten away with their crime without seeing proper justice. Let’s never forget Brock Turner, who spent a paltry three months in jail after raping an unconscious woman in an alley. This is also far from the first time that a judge has clearly sided with a rapist over the victim, while engaging in next-level victim-blaming. Like, the judge who asked a rape victim if she tried to close her legs to avoid being raped. Or the judge who asked about a rape victim’s lacy thong.
Twitter also responded by pointing out how sentences for white male rapists are so drastically different from the sentences for black men facing much less violent and serious crimes.
The only good news, sort of? Piche was fired from his job as a school bus driver, because at least the school system acted sanely. Let’s just hope that his name and face are plastered on the internet so widely that everyone knows them, even though he doesn’t have to knock on his neighbors’ doors and introduce himself for what he is.