(Video Credit: Inside Edition)
New York Judge Matthew Murphy III has ruled that a convicted New York rapist named Christopher Belter, who raped four teenage girls at his upscale home while he was in high school, will not serve any time behind bars and instead will receive eight years probation for his heinous crimes.
The judge declared that “incarceration isn’t appropriate” for the privileged prep-schooler.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I actually prayed over what is the appropriate sentence in this case because there was great pain. There was great harm. There were multiple crimes committed in the case,” Murphy noted, according to WKBW. “It seems to me that a sentence that involves incarceration or partial incarceration isn’t appropriate, so I am going to sentence you to probation.”
Belter pleaded guilty in 2019 to the rape of one of the girls and sexually abusing three others during parties held at his parents’ estate just outside Niagara Falls. He’s now 20-years-old. At the time of the assaults, he was 16 and 17-years-old. His victims were 15 to 16-years-old.
He was facing a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison for his actions. The judge, however, mandated eight years probation and ordered Belter to register as a sex offender.
No jail time for 20-year-old Christopher Belter of Lewiston accused of rape and sexual abuse of multiply victims. Judge Murphy orders him to continue 8-years of probation. A victim in courtroom clearly upset by sentence. @WKBW
— eileen buckley (@eileenwkbw) November 16, 2021
Those who were in the courtroom were reportedly shocked at the ruling. One of Belter’s victims was present for the sentencing.
An attorney named Steven M. Cohen, who represents one of the victims, was incensed by the verdict, telling reporters on Tuesday, “Justice was not done here.”
“He is privileged, he comes from money, he is white,” Cohen stated. “He was sentenced as an adult, appropriately. For an adult to get away with these crimes is unjust.”
Cohen claims that his client and some of the other victims were “deeply disappointed” in the sentencing, according to The Washington Post.
“My client threw up in the ladies’ room following the sentencing,” he alleged. “If Chris Belter was not a white defendant from a rich and influential family, in my experience … he would surely have been sentenced to prison.”
Barry Covert, Belter’s attorney, had no comment. Buffalo News is reporting that he remarked following the ruling that his client regrets his crimes.
“He is tremendously remorseful for what he’s done,” Covert commented. “There are clients who are never able to empathize with their victims no matter how much counseling they receive. Chris isn’t one of them.”
“I don’t believe it for one second,” one of Belter’s victims told CBS News. “He was saying whatever it takes for him to get his best outcome and it worked. … I will have to live with this for the rest of my life, knowing that he’s walking the streets and that another girl can be a victim of his any day now. It’s terrifying.”
Judge Murphy asserted that Belter’s probation would “be like a sword hanging over your head for the next eight years.”
This was not the first time a judge has granted Belter probation. Now-retired Judge Sara Sheldon made a similar ruling for Belter in 2019. Sheldon placed him on two years’ interim probation to give him an opportunity to earn youthful offender status, which would have limited his sentence to four years and would have prevented him from having to register as a sex offender.
Making Murphy’s ruling on Belter even worse, he admitted last month that he violated probation by installing software on his computer to bypass a content block that prevented him from viewing pornography.
Belter told his probation officer that he’s been watching porn since he was 7-years-old. “He has recently been treated with medication to lessen his libido,” Murphy wrote in his decision denying him youthful offender status.
According to State Police, Belter’s mother, Tricia Vacanti, who is now 50; his stepfather, Gary E. Sullo, 56; and a family friend, Jessica M. Long, 42, supplied the girls with alcohol and marijuana during a number of parties and helped groom them for sexual assault by Belter.
53-year-old Gary Sullo walks into court handcuffed alongside a New York State Police Trooper. He is accused of providing alcohol to minors multiple times between Dec 2016-July 2018. @WKBW pic.twitter.com/ElTkVs4HC1
— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) November 28, 2018
They face charges in Lewiston Town Court of child endangerment and unlawfully dealing with a child.
People are enraged over the judge giving a convicted rapist probation:
Convicted rapist Christopher Belter sexually assaulted 4 teenage girls in 2018 and a judge just sentenced him to probation. He won't receive any jail time for his actions. Judge Matthew Murphy is a disgrace to the state of New York. pic.twitter.com/9yITgv62kZ
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) November 18, 2021
A man convicted of 4 rapes just got zero prison time. 8 years probation. Judge Matthew Murphy in Niagara County, NY has some explaining to do on an absolute travesty in his sentencing of Christopher Belter.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) November 18, 2021
Christopher Belter Jr could not even follow the rules of his interim probation. Faced up to eight years in state prison BUT BECAUSE A DIPSHIT JUDGE PRAYED ON WHAT AN APPROPRIATE SENTENCE WOULD BE he got probation.
What a slap in the fucking face to his victims.
This is disgusting
— Queencityfeminist (@Queencityfemnst) November 17, 2021
THIS IS 18 YEAR OLD CHRISTOPHER BELTER. HE PLEAD GUILTY TO RAPE AND SEX CRIMES BUT BECAUSE HIS MOTHER IS A LAWYER HE GOT OFF ON A YEAR OF PROBATION. LAST YEAR HE WAS ALLOWED TO ATTEND SCHOOL WITH HIS VICTIM.
REMEMBER HIS NAME AND HIS FACE.
MAKE THIS FOLLOW HIM. pic.twitter.com/ENRmZJFzeK
— ryan 🔪 (@loveanxietyxoxo) August 29, 2019
Raise your hand if, like me, you think #ChristopherBelter should be in prison for raping four teen girls.
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) November 19, 2021
Post his picture and name!
Christopher Belter pic.twitter.com/QgUoaZ7Atl
— RainWalker (@kapulo) November 18, 2021
Rapist Christopher Belter was spared jail time by Judge Matthew Murphy III who said he prayed on it and jail was not appropriate. Belter raped 4 teenage girls and the Judge gave him probation.
Time to remove this Judge, and I don’t give a fuck that he’s a democrat.
— James Hubbard (@JamesHu18332770) November 19, 2021
Probation for four rapes. And they wonder why many rapes are not reported. Chris Belter should be in prison. Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy III should be removed from the bench. #ChristopherBelter
— Mike Williams (@drummike2012) November 17, 2021
Who did he pray to — Satan?
— Mrs. Fleming (@goletjf) November 18, 2021
Dear Lord people need to vote in local elections. Why is this person a Judge? Where is the justice for the teenage girls who will have to live with trauma for the rest of their lives. 😔 😔
— Dee (@GillasDee) November 18, 2021
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