A New York judge is facing outrage for ruling a former school bus driver did not have to go to jail after pleading guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl.
More than 45,000 people signed an online petition by Wednesday morning, calling for Judge James P. McClusky to be removed. He sentenced _______ to 10 years of probation, and _______ will have to register as a Level 1 sex offender.
New York state law does not place Level 1 offenders on any online sex offender databases.
Prosecutors and _______ ’s lawyer say the punishment was appropriate. Watertown attorney Eric Swartz says his client is guilty of a crime.
“My client was 25, OK, and he had pled to having sex with a person who was at that point 14 years old, so by definition she can’t consent,” Swartz said. “So that is rape third, but I think what people think is that there is an assaultive element when they hear that word.”
Swartz says there’s no indication an attack of any sort happened, but the victim’s age makes it illegal.
“Is it OK to have sex with a teenager? No, it’s not,” the attorney said. “He pled guilty to that. He’s suffering the consequences of that.”
McClusky is under fire for his decision to sentence _______ to probation. The probation department interviewed _______ , who had no prior criminal record.
“Based on my experience and my understanding of this file, the sentencing parameters, the judge was well within his right to sentence this guy to probation,” said Patricia Dziuba, Jefferson County assistant district attorney.