US school bus driver avoids jail despite admitting to rape of 14yo student

Judge James P McClusky, right, sentenced Shane Piche to 10 years probation for third-degree rape.
Judge James P McClusky, right, sentenced Shane Piche to 10 years probation for third-degree rape. Photo credit: New York State Police

A US man has been sentenced for the rape of a 14-year-old girl - but his punishment has prompted outrage because it includes no time at all behind bars.

Former bus driver Shane Piche, 26, was sentenced to 10 years of probation in the Jefferson County Court last week after admitting to third-degree rape, the Watertown Daily Times reports.

Judge James P McClusky said due to there only being one person who was harmed, he will be registered as a level one sex offender.

The incident happened at Piche's house but he came to know the victim, who cannot be named, during his job as a bus driver, according to police.

Piche no longer works for the bus company, attorney Eric T Swartz confirmed.

It is alleged he also gave the child alcohol and was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child, the Watertown Daily Times reports.

The court heard that Piche is not allowed to be by himself with anyone below the age of 17, and three protection orders were put in place.

He also had to pay a sex offender registration payment of $1000.

Some have been left outraged by the sentence, with Ashley Stricker starting a petition to have Judge McClusky removed. It had more than 3600 signatures on Wednesday evening.

"One victim is too much!" the petition says. "This sentence is a disgrace to law and an injustice to the 14 year old child that Shane Piche raped."

The contentious sentence has drawn comparisons to that given to Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer convicted for assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015.

He was sentenced to six months in jail and three years' probation in June 2016, prompting international uproar. Turner was released after serving just three months.