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Rich Kid Pleaded Guilty To Rape Of 4 Teenage Girls -- The Judge Gave Him ZERO Prison Time!

NY man given zero jail time after pleading guilty to raping 4 women

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

“Disappointing” doesn’t begin to cover this case.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Christopher Belter, a 20-year-old from New York, was given ZERO jail time by a judge, even after pleading guilty to rape and sexual abuse. The young man — who was a student at a fancy private school when the crimes occurred — admitted to assaulting four teenage girls during parties at his parents’ home. Those gathered in the courtroom were reportedly “stunned” by the decision, which “deeply disappointed” at least one of the victims.

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Per the Post, Belter was accused of assaulting three 16-year-old girls and a 15-year-old girl in separate incidents occurring between February 2017 and August 2018, when he was 16 and 17 years old. After originally pleading guilty in 2019, he was placed on two years’ probation by Judge Sara Sheldon. When he admitted last month to violating his probation (by “by installing software on his personal computer that allowed him to view pornography”), he was denied the opportunity to earn a youthful offender status by Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

A lawyer for one of the survivors, Steven M. Cohen, told the Post:

“The assumption when Judge Murphy denied youthful offender status was that Chris Belter would receive prison time. There were absolutely no consequences for the defendant’s repeated violations of Judge Sheldon’s terms of probation.”

Instead, when it came time for sentencing, Murphy told the court he “agonized” over the decision, according to the Buffalo News. Belter was facing a potential eight years behind bars. However, the judge ultimately said:

“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. 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.”

Murphy did not elaborate as to why prison time would have been inappropriate. What he gave the admitted rapist was eight years probation — and a place on the sex offender registry. That’s it.

For his part, Cohen stated that “Justice was not done” in the case. Speaking with the Post, he shared:

“My client threw up in the ladies room following the sentencing. 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.”

Belter’s attorney Barry N. Covert described his client as “tremendously remorseful” for his actions, per the Buffalo News. In his own courtroom statement, Belter claimed that he had “come to feel deep shame for my actions.”

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However, Murphy himself noted the “gripping statement” by one of the victims, writing:

“During the rape, he told her to stop being such a baby. She focused her attention on the leaves of the plant as she cried during the attack. The Defendant told her that, if she stopped resisting, it wouldn’t hurt as much.”

How unimaginably awful.

It’s not for us to decide what the “appropriate” punishment for a serial rapist is, but we are certainly inclined to agree with Cohen that the outcome of this trial would be different if Belter weren’t a well-off white kid. Our hearts go out to all those who were hurt by Belter’s actions. We can only hope that the justice system evolves to better deal with such heinous crimes.

[Image via Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.]

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Nov 18, 2021 11:49am PDT