Photo: Niagara County Sheriff Department / Courtesy
He acknowledged having sexually abused 4 teenagers at his parents’ home in a wealthy neighborhood in New York state, but he will not go to prison.
This was decided this week by the judge responsible for the case, who sentenced 20-year-old Christopher Belter to Eight years of probation.
The ruling handed down by Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III has caused outrage not only from the victims and their families, but also from the American public.
The events took place between February 2017 and August 2018, when the young man attended a private school in Buffalo. Three of the victims had 16 years and the other 15 and they were assaulted in four separate incidents.
The magistrate said he was “dying” over the case of Belter, who, according to the Washington Post, pleaded guilty in 2019 to the crimes of rape in the third degree and attempted sexual assault in the first degree, as well as two lesser charges. of sexual abuse in the second degree.
The young man could have been sentenced to 8 years in prison, but the judge in the case concluded that time behind bars for Belter “Would be inappropriate”.
The youth will have to register as a sex offender as part of their sentence.
“Justice was not served”
In a statement, Niagara County District Attorney Brian Seaman expressed frustration with the sentence, saying the office had been “very clear that we believed a prison sentence was entirely appropriate in this case.”
Steven M. Cohen, an attorney for one of the victims, told the Washington Post that justice had not been served.
“My client vomited in the ladies’ room after sentencingCohen said. “If Chris Belter was not a white defendant from a wealthy and influential family, in my experience … he would surely have been sentenced to prison.”
In a first trial in which he was tried as a juvenile delinquent, Belter received a two-year sentence of probation if he served his sentence.
But in October of this year, Judge Murphy ruled that Belter would be sentenced as an adult “for his documented breach” of the previous conviction.
The accused accessed pornographic content from your computer, something that was forbidden.
At the sentencing hearing, the defense attorney said Belter regretted what he did as a teenager.
Belter’s mother, stepfather, and a friend of these are accused of facilitating the abuse and supplying the adolescents with alcohol and marijuana. All three have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
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