Connect with us

U.S.

School Bus Driver Gets No Prison Time After Raping 14-Year Old Girl

Published

on

  • Shane M. Piche, a former school bus driver in Watertown, New York, pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in February, after raping a 14-year-old girl who he met on his bus route.
  • Piche avoided prison time during his sentencing last week.
  • Instead, he was ordered to serve 10 years of probation and will be required to register as a Level 1 sex offender.

Sentencing

A New York man who pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year old girl will serve no time in prison.

Shane M. Piche, a former Watertown City School bus driver, was sentenced to 10-years probation last Thursday, according to the Watertown Daily Times.

The 26-year-old was arrested in September of last year and was charged with second-degree rape, first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child. According to local police, he met the 14-year-old victim while working as a school bus driver and later assaulted her in his home.

In February, the victim’s mother told WWNY-TV, that Piche “bought her daughter gifts and invited her and other minors to his home where he gave them alcohol.”  That same month, Piche pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of third-degree rape.

In addition to 10 years of probation, three orders of protection were also issued against him. Piche is no longer allowed to be alone with anyone under the age of 17, although there were some exceptions approved. Finally, he has also been required to register as a Level 1 sex offender and will be forced to pay $375 in court fees and a $1,000 special sex offender registration fee.

A Level 1 sex offender designation is given to individuals with a “low risk” of committing the crime a second time.

The district attorneys office had called for Pinche to be handed a Level 2 sex offender designation. This would have required his complete address to appear in the online sex offender database, according to the state.  However, Judge James McClusky said that the Level 1 title was more appropriate considering Piche had no prior arrests and only one victim was involved.

Responses

“I wish Shane Piche would have received time in jail for the harm he caused to my child,” the teen’s mother wrote in a victim impact statement, according to WWNY-TV. “He took something from my daughter she will never get back and has caused her to struggle with depression and anxiety.”

Meanwhile, Piche’s defense attorney, Eric T. Swartz, said he feels good about the judge’s decision. He also confirmed that Piche no longer works for the bus company.

“He’ll be a felon for the rest of his life,” Swartz told the local news outlet. “He’s on the sex offender registry for a long time. Maybe not the rest of his life because of the level, but this isn’t something that didn’t cause him pain. And this isn’t something that didn’t have consequences.”

See what others are saying: (Watertown Daily Times) (The Hill) (The Washington Post)

U.S.

Billionaire Pledges to Pay Loan Debt of This Year’s Morehouse College Graduates

Published

on

  • Billionaire investor Robert F. Smith promised to pay off the student loan debt of the 2019 graduates at Morehouse College, an all-male historically black school in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Though the exact amount of the class’ debt is still being calculated, the gift is expected to be around $40 million.
  • This is just one of Smith’s major donations in recent years.

A Generous Gift

Billionaire tech investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith said he will pay off the student debt for all graduates in Morehouse College’s class of 2019.

Smith announced the news on Sunday while delivering the commencement address at the all-male historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia.

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re gonna put a little fuel in your bus,” he said. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

His announcement shocked the nearly 400 graduates, who reacted with cheers and applause.

One graduating student named Aaron Mitchom told the Associated Press that he had drawn up a spreadsheet to calculate how long it would take him to pay off his $200,000 in student debt. According to his math, it would take him about 25 years.

“I can delete that spreadsheet,” he told the AP after the commencement. “I don’t have to live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was shocked. My heart dropped. We all cried. In the moment it was like a burden had been taken off.”

Brandon Manor, another graduate, told the New York Times, “Now all of a sudden, I can look at schools I might not have considered, because I am not applying with about $100,000 in undergraduate loans.”

Who is Robert F. Smith?

Smith, the founder and CEO of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, is worth an estimated $5 billion and is the richest black man in America, according to Forbes.

The 56-year-old who originally hails from Colorado but now lives in Austin went to Cornell for his undergraduate degree and earned a B.S. in chemical engineering. Afterward, Smith earned his MBA from Columbia Business School.

He went on to work for several companies like Kraft General Foods and then Goldman Sachs, advising companies like Apple and Microsoft before founding his own investment firm.

What does this gift mean?

Smith’s pledge stunned administrators, who called it the largest single gift in the school’s history. The donation also comes at a time where student loan debt has soared to roughly $1.5 trillion, according to recent Federal Reserve data.

Morehouse President David A. Thomas called the gesture “a liberation gift,” telling CNN, “When you have to service debt, the choices about what you can go do in the world are constrained.”

“(Smith’s gift) gives them the liberty to follow their dreams, their passions.”

According to Thomas, the total amount of student debt for the class is still being calculated but the Associated Press estimated that the gift is worth about $40 million.

In return, Smith says he expects the graduating class to pay it forward to give future classes the same opportunity one day.

“Let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward, because we are enough to take care of our own community,” he said.

“We are enough to ensure we have all of the opportunities of the American dream, and we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds.”

Other Major Donations

The billionaire tech executive has managed to stay under the radar for much of his career. While this major donation has thrust him into the spotlight, it is far from his first generous gift.

In 2016, he pledged a $20 million gift to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. That same year, he donated $50 million to Cornell University to go towards its chemical and biomolecular engineering school, and to support black and female engineering students.

In 2017, Smith signed The Giving Pledge, a commitment by some of the world’s richest people – including Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet – who have promises to giving most of their wealth to philanthropy. In 2018, he gave $2.5 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation to focus on research and care for African-American men and veterans with prostate cancer.

Before Sunday’s graduation speech, Smith had already donated $1.5 million to Morehouse for scholarships and a new park.

See what others are saying (The New York  Times) (Forbes) (Time)


Continue Reading

U.S.

Aliens Among Us?! This Is Why SCIENTISTS Think It’s Actually Possible…

Published

on


Is it possible we’ve been visited by intelligent alien life? News outlets have often disregarded this question as ludicrous. However, that attitude may be changing.

In this video, we’ll look at why several well-respected scientists from places like NASA and Harvard believe it’s possible we may have already been visited by an intelligent alien life form.

Continue Reading

U.S.

How the Flint Water Crisis EXPOSED a HUGE Problem in America’s Schools…

Published

on


The water crisis in Flint, Michigan served as a wakeup call about the dangers of lead poisoning for young children, but a recent report shows that schools across the nation are still failing to provide safe drinking water for millions of students, potentially exposing them to a lifetime of developmental delays and other severe health consequences.

Continue Reading