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Judge shockingly rules no jail time for ‘privileged’ rapist who assaulted 4 teenage girls

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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.

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.

They face charges in Lewiston Town Court of child endangerment and unlawfully dealing with a child.

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