10:05 AM PST, November 19, 2021
Convicted rapist Christopher Belter won’t see a day in jail — just probation — and the sentence is drawing outrage.
Belter, 20, sexually assaulted four teenage girls during parties at his family’s upstate New York home. He apologized to the victims in court.
“Through treatment and reflection, I’ve come to feel deep shame and regret for my actions. None of you deserve to be in this situation. I know though that a scar will remain that will serve as a reminder of the evil of that night,” Belter said.
One of Belter’s victims, who wants to go by her initials “M.M.” says his apology sounded “robotic.”
“It sounded as if someone else had written it for him. I didn’t believe a word that was coming out of his mouth,” the victim continued.
She says she was friends with Belter’s sister and was visiting the family home when he lured her into his bedroom.
“He motioned for me to sit down on the bed with him, but I stood in the doorway and said no. And then he got really aggressive and from there, obviously, you can assume what happened,” the victim said.
But Judge Matthew Murphy decided the crimes didn’t call for jail time.
“I agonized. 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 said.
Belter was sentenced to eight years probation, but no jail time.
“The second that I heard the word ‘probation,’ I honestly just broke down. I didn’t hear one word said after that. I was shaking with anger and disgust,” the victim said.
The victim says she was sickened by the light sentence, and her lawyer, Steve Cohen, didn’t mince words outside the courthouse after the decision.
“If this individual was not a rich, white kid from a privileged background and an influential family, he would be in prison right now,” Cohen said.