Christopher Belter Biography – Wiki
Christopher Belter Jr. is a New York man from a wealthy family who was sentenced to probation after being convicted of sexually assaulting four teenagers in Lewiston. Niagara County Judge Matthew Murphy III said during sentencing that “it seems to me that a sentence involving incarceration or partial incarceration is not appropriate,” according to WKBW.
Murphy, while sentencing Belter to eight years of probation, said during court: “I was dying, I’m not ashamed to say that I actually prayed about what the appropriate sentence is in this case. Because there was great pain. There was great damage: multiple crimes were committed in the case, ”according to WKBW.
Christopher Belter Jr. is 20-years-old.
Accused of Sexually Assaulting the Four Victims
Belter, who now lives in Lockport, New York, was charged with sexually assaulting the four victims in 2017 and 2018 when he was under the age of 18, according to court documents. Belter’s parents are lawyers. Her mother and his stepfather are facing charges in connection with the parties held at the home where the sexual assaults occurred, according to court records. They, along with a family friend, are charged with supplying underage teens with alcohol and marijuana at home parties, according to the New York State Police.
Initially facing charges of first-degree rape, Belter pleaded guilty to a reduced count of third-degree rape in 2019, according to court records, along with attempted first-degree sexual assault and two misdemeanors of second-degree sexual assault. He was sentenced under a pre-trial diversion program to two years of probation with the possibility of being treated as a juvenile offender if he completed the terms of probation without issue. Had he successfully completed those two years of probation, Belter could have avoided having to register as a sex offender or other additional punishment. But Belter was charged with violating that probation, according to WKBW.
While sentencing Chris Belter to eight years of probation, Judge Matthew Murphy III said in court: “It’s going to be like a sword hanging over his head,” WKBW reported. Belter was also ordered to register as a sex offender, according to WKBW. On December 2, 2021, it will be determined whether he has to register as a level one, two, or three offender under the New York State Sex Offender Registration Act, the news station reported.
Belter, his family, and his attorney could not be reached by Heavy for comment. In court, Belter said, according to WKBW, “Through treatment and reflection, I have come to feel deep shame and regret for my actions, none of you deserved to be in this situation. I hope that each of you can heal the wound that I made. However, I know there will be a scar left that will serve as a reminder of the evil of that night. “Belter’s attorney, Barry Covert, said during sentencing:” He is tremendously sorry for what he has done.
Prosecutor Peter Wydysh, who did not make a sentencing recommendation, said during court, according to the news station, “He was not a party house case judge; it was a house of sexual assault, that’s what happened there, that’s not something we should ignore. ”
Belter previously received a two-year provisional sentence of probation with various conditions and the opportunity for his final sentence to be dealt with juvenile delinquent status. That ruling was issued by now-retired Judge Sara Sheldon. According to Buffalo News, Sheldon said she doubted Belter would meet the requirements for parole, but she wanted to give him a chance anyway.
According to court records, the initial probation sentence required Belter to live in Niagara County, be employed or a full-time student, lives with his parents, and have no contact with anyone under the age of 18. He was also ordered to stay away from the victims and not to use the Internet without permission from his probation officer, prohibited from taking night trips and visiting places where minors are present unless the probation office gives them permission. Belter was also subjected to random drug and polygraph tests.
Belter was charged with violating those probation terms by viewing Internet pornography and installing software on his computer to hide his behavior, according to The New York Times. The newspaper wrote: “Mr. Belter told a probation officer that he had been viewing pornography regularly since he was 7 years old and that it was a “coping mechanism,” Judge Murphy wrote in an October ruling denying him juvenile offender status. He also noted in the ruling that Mr. Belter “had recently been treated with drugs to lower his libido.”
Belter was 16 and 17 at the time of the sexual assaults and a student and rugby player at Canisius High School, a private Jesuit Catholic preparatory school in Buffalo, New York, at the time, according to The New York Times. The incidents occurred at parties at the Lewiston mansion where he lived with his mother and his stepfather, according to prosecutors. The victims were three 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old, prosecutors said.
THIS IS 18 YEAR OLD CHRISTOPHER BELTER. HE PLEAD GUILTY TO RAPE AND SEX CRIMES BUT BECAUSE HIS MOTHER IS A LAWYER HE GOT OFF ON A YEAR OF PROBATION. LAST YEAR HE WAS ALLOWED TO ATTEND SCHOOL WITH HIS VICTIM.
REMEMBER HIS NAME AND HIS FACE.
MAKE THIS FOLLOW HIM. pic.twitter.com/ENRmZJFzeK
— ryan 🔪 (@loveanxietyxoxo) August 29, 2019
According to The Times, a victim, identified as M.M., was in the home with Belter’s sister in August 2018 when she was raped. The newspaper wrote: “He invited her into her room, then threw her on the bed, stripped her clothes off her and told her to stop being such a baby, according to court documents. In a hearing this summer, he described that he had focused his attention on the leaves of a plant in the room as the attack continued. “According to The Buffalo News, MM said. In court,” He told me that if I stopped resisting, it wouldn’t hurt as much. “.
53-year-old Gary Sullo walks into court handcuffed alongside a New York State Police Trooper. He is accused of providing alcohol to minors multiple times between Dec 2016-July 2018. @WKBW pic.twitter.com/ElTkVs4HC1
— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) November 28, 2018
Christopher Belter’s mother, Tricia Vacanti, his stepfather, Gary Sullo, and a neighbor, Jessica Long, face ongoing state charges in connection with the parties held at the home where Belter lived in Lewiston, New York, according to court records. The cases against him are still pending and all have pleaded not guilty. The trio is accused of supplying alcohol and marijuana to minors during the holidays. The 6,378-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom home, owned by Vacanti and Sullo, is located on Mountain View Drive. It has a value of 1.4 million dollars, according to Trulia.
Long, 39, was charged with illegally dealing with a minor and endangering the welfare of a child. Vacanti and Sullo face multiple charges for illegally dealing with a minor and endangering the well-being of a child. The couple faces 30 charges combined, according to the Niagara Gazette. Cases against all three have been delayed due to COVID, according to the Niagara Gazette.
Vacanti, 47, is an attorney at the Law Offices of Tricia Vacanti, according to her Facebook page. She studied psychology at the University at Buffalo and graduated from SUNY Buffalo Law School. Vacanti was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1999, according to public records. Her husband of 53 years, Sullo, is the CEO of Tramec Sloan LLC, a manufacturing company, according to the company.
According to the Niagara Gazette, MM, one of Belter’s victims, said in a civil lawsuit that Vacanti had begun a relationship with her “with the intention of grooming her” to “be prey to hers, her son, her predator.”. According to court documents obtained by the newspaper, “M.M. She made herself comfortable drinking and partying around the house, she made herself feel close and safe with defendants Vacanti and Sullo, and, like other girls attracted to Belter, Jr., to feel safe with Belter, Jr. himself. ”
Belter’s father, Christopher Belter Sr., is also an attorney. He faces no criminal charges or allegations of wrongdoing in connection with his son’s case.
Judge Murphy Previously Tried to Order the Media to Not Publish Belter’s Name
Murphy could have sentenced Belter to up to eight years in state prison after determining that Belter should be sentenced as an adult. But Murphy was also allowed to sentence Belter to up to 10 years of probation along with the sex offender registry.
According to court documents, Murphy said of the parole violation, “We now know from his documented breach of court-imposed rules on abstinence from pornography that this defendant does not hesitate to ignore the rules when competing with his own carnal conduct. . appetite. “Murphy, ruling that Belter would be sentenced as an adult, added,” The defendant has made progress and perhaps if the defendant continues on probation and sex offender counseling for another eight years, the risk of recidivism will be eliminated. But, as long as Thus, the defendant still has an ‘above average risk’ of reoffending even after two years of counseling. ”
During the run-up to Belter’s sentencing, Murphy tried to stop the media from publishing Belter’s name after a hearing, despite the fact that it was held in a public hearing and the fact that Belter’s name had been reported. previously, according to The Buffalo News. In an editorial rebuking the judge’s decision, the newspaper wrote: “Murphy had no legal capacity to order the media, including The Buffalo News, not to publish the name of a 20-year-old rapist whose family lives in a mansion. in Lewiston. But he did it anyway. The ruling wasn’t just illegal, it was weird. The man’s name had been reported previously by the western New York media, and repeatedly. ”
The editorial continued: “The court hearing in which the judge issued his nonsensical order was open to the public, so anyone could have spread it on social media. The name is available through online searches. But above all, the order was an abuse of authority, the kind that causes judges to be overturned and sometimes disciplined. ”
Murphy, 70, is a Democrat who was first elected as a county judge in 2007, according to state records. He was previously a district attorney for Niagara County. The former prosecutor will face mandatory retirement in late 2021. Murphy has not commented on the outrage sparked by his sentencing decision.
The Attorney for One of Belter’s Victims Says
Christopher Belter, now 20, admitted to sexually assaulting four teenagers in a wealthy New York State neighborhood.
Niagara County Judge Matthew Murphy called jail time “inappropriate” and instead sentenced him to 8 years probation. pic.twitter.com/WA7FkdSckJ
— The Recount (@therecount) November 18, 2021
Attorney Steve Cohen, representing one of Belter’s victims, identified as M.M. in court documents, told The New York Times: “My client vomited in the lady’s room after sentencing.” Cohen added, “If Chris Belter were not a white defendant from a wealthy and influential family,” he, “surely would have been sentenced to prison. The truth of what happened and what he did to his victims is much more egregious than the charges he alleged. ”
Cohen told WKBW: “I am deeply, deeply disappointed. I was expecting a different result today. Justice was not served today. “He said there were” zero consequences “for Belter for violating the previous terms of probation. with yours with these crimes is unfair ”.
During court, the judge read a portion of M.M.’s victim impact statement, according to The New York Times. She compared the damage caused by Belter to the wild forest fires she had seen raging when she traveled across the country during the summer, and wrote: “So I am before you asking that you do not let this be the end, do not let this end. rapist walk “. Away from two years of probation with a clean slate. I ask you because you have the ability to save future girls. You have the ability to put out this fire or let it continue to burn. ”