The mother of a former bus driver who avoided jail time last week after admitting to the rape of a 14-year-old girl is speaking out in defense her son.
Shane Piche, 26, was sentenced to 10 years of probation on April 25 and ordered to register as a level one sex offender, the lowest threat level.
Piche was charged with sexually assaulting a teen he met on his bus route and providing her with alcohol. He pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in February.
However, his mother told the Daily Mail that he’s not the “monster” the public views him as. The mom, who does not wish to be publicly identified, said:
“It’s not him. It’s hard to comprehend or understand. It’s so unlike him. I support him.”
“Shane has always been a good kid and went from never even having a ticket to a felon in the blink of an eye. He has always been too nice, too trusting and a bit gullible.”
The mom she doesn’t blame the teen for what happened but said it wasn’t an unfamiliar situation in their small town of Watertown, New York.
She told the Daily Mail:
“While it’s still wrong in the law — it happens a lot in this area, unfortunately.”
Piche’s mother added that her son is still getting punished even though he didn’t end up behind bars. She explained:
“It’s not like he’s free. He’s still going to be a felon. He still has to see a counselor. He can’t leave our county. It’s going to be hard for him to get a job. It’s not going to be easy.”
Since Judge James P. McClusky sentenced Piche, a petition to have him removed from his post has garnered more 66,000 signatures.
The petition reads, in part:
Judge James McClusky just let a child rapist off with a slap on the wrist. Remove him from his position immediately for his blatant disregard for survivors of sexual assault.
Piche’s mother said she and her family have received death threats over the past week.
In addition to probation, the former bus driver is not allowed to be in contact with anyone under the age of 17 alone. He was also given three “no contact” orders.
The 14-year-old’s mother said in a statement that she believes he should have gotten jail time for raping her daughter.