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Convicted Rapist Of Multiple Girls Freed After Judge Explains Why Jail ‘Isn’t Appropriate’

Christopher Belter, age 20, pled guilty to raping one young girl and sexually assaulting three others over the course of a year. The evidence against him was overwhelming. Unbelievably, because of the compassion of the New York court, he will never enter a jail cell for any of his offenses.

The idea that Belter, their sexual abuser, will not be imprisoned torments Belter’s victims. However, it is the judge who says he personally endured excruciating pain that finally caused him to release the convicted rapist.

Before Belter and his victims, Judge Matthew J. Murphy III of the Niagara County Court said that he “agonized” about whether or not to punish the rapist. Because incarceration would not be a “appropriate penalty” for Belter’s offenses, he then stated that he would get no prison time and just eight years of probation.

Judge Murphy said that his judgment was based on the offender’s age at the time of the acts. Belter was 16 or 17 years old when he raped an adolescent girl and sexually abused three others between the ages of 15 and 16.

At the age of 17, Belter was legally charged with first-degree rape, third-degree rape, and sexual abuse involving many kids. The abuse happened at his Lewiston residence over the course of a year. He then pleaded guilty to two charges of second-degree sex abuse, attempted third-degree abuse, and third-degree rape.

Though Belter is forced to register as a sexual offender, he was sentenced to two years of interim probation that, if successfully completed, would grant him the status of Youthful Offender. His probation requirements include no contact with children, living with his parents, working or being a full-time student, and having no internet access.

The court informed Belter’s victims that he would serve no prison time. They were naturally astonished and horrified by the judge’s ruling. One of the victim’s lawyers attributed Belter’s lenient sentencing to his race and socioeconomic class.

Cohen noted that despite Belter’s stringent probation, he had previously broken the terms of his prior probation and got a slap on the wrist. Even yet, Judge Murphy justified Belter’s conduct, maintaining that he “has made progress” and may be less likely to reoffend if he receives therapy.

Belter addressed the court before his punishment and apologized to his victims, expressing “great humiliation and sorrow” for his crimes. Obviously, many do not accept his apologies. They, like his victims, think that the court has just taught him that he will get away with his atrocities.

Sentences are not issued just to punish offenders. They must also exact revenge on the victim. Rather than seeking vengeance for the anguish caused to these girls, the court “agonized” over punishing their offender.

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