WATERTOWN, NY (WROC) — Hundreds of sexual assault survivors are calling for the removal of the Northern New York judge who gave no prison time to a bus driver who admitted to raping a teen girl.
Shane Piche, 25, was sentenced to 10 years probation and will have to register as a Level 1 sex offender, but no jail time, after pleading guilty in the case earlier this month. The former Watertown bus driver admitted to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he met on his bus route.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, during sentencing, the judge noted that Piche had no previous arrests and there was only one victim.
In the days after the sentence came down in late April, stories about the light sentence made national headlines with many upset with the decision.
A court spokesman told reporters the judge, Jefferson County Supreme Court Judge James McClusky, was within the parameters of the sentencing range for Pinche’s plea.
But now, a petition launched by women’s advocacy group Ultraviolent is calling on the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct to have McClusky removed.
According to the New York Daily News, the group says a petition it launched has collected signatures from nearly 35,000 people including 675 sexual assault survivors.
The petition says, “Judge McClusky cannot be trusted to protect survivors of sexual assault, and he needs to be removed from the bench.”