As reported by Julie Abbass and printed in the Watertown Daily Times, Jefferson Supreme Court Judge James P. McClusky has sentenced 26 year old Shane M. Piche to 10 years’ probation. Mr. Piche, a former Watertown City School District bus driver, admitted in a plea deal to raping a 14 year old girl. Mr. Piche is also required to register as a Level 1 Sex Offender after pleading guilty to third-degree rape. Mr. Piche had also been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly providing alcohol to the 14 year old.
Although the district attorney’s office had requested a Level 2 Sex Offender designation, the Judge felt that a lower risk level was more appropriate because Mr. Piche had no prior arrests and there was only one victim. A Level 1 sex offender is considered to be at low risk of committing the crime again and is not included in online sex offender databases.
According to the New York State Police Mr. Piche met the girl through his job as a bus driver. They also report that the incident happened at Piche’s residence on Ridge Road. Mr. Piche’s attorney, Eric T. Swartz, said that he is happy with the sentence and confirmed that Mr. Piche no longer works at the bus company.
Mr. Piche has had three “no contact” orders issued against him and he is not allowed to be alone with anyone under the age of 17 years old (some exceptions were approved).