Christopher J. Belter faced eight years in prison, but instead the judge sentenced him to a simple eight-year probation and to be put on the list of sex offenders, and without any incarceration. The 20-year-old from Niagara County, New York, was on trial after pleading guilty to third degree rape, attempted sexual abuse and two other offenses.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I actually prayed about what would be the appropriate sentence in this case because there was great pain,” the judge said as he read the sentence. “There has been great harm. There have been several crimes committed. It seems to me that a sentence that involves incarceration or partial incarceration is not appropriate,” he concluded, however, writes the New York Times. He gave no further explanation as to why he did not wish to impose a prison sentence on the accused. He simply indicated that the probation sentence would be like a “sword of Damocles hanging over the young man’s head”.

Christopher J. Belter was on trial for raping a 16-year-old girl at his parents’ house in 2018. She was spending the night in this house when the boy, also a teenager at the time of the events, had invited her into her room before pouncing on her. He then took off her clothes, asking her to stop having the baby. The young woman recounted having concentrated her mind on the leaves of a green plant during the entire time of the sexual assault.

The accused, a student of a prestigious private school, was also appearing for assaulting three other young girls, two 16 years old and one 15 years old between 2017 and 2018. All the facts occurred at his parents’ home. At the time of their son’s arrest, the mother had been charged with providing marijuana and alcohol to teenage girls at various parties at their homes. The father and a friend were also charged with serving alcohol to minors. They all pleaded not guilty.

In 2019, the young man agreed to plead guilty to rape and attempted sexual abuse. This had allowed him to be sentenced to two years probation, during an interim judgment. The court clarified that if he respected the terms of the agreement, he would be tried as a young offender during the final judgment, which would allow him to escape firm prison and registration on the sex offender list. But in October 2021, he broke one of the terms of the deal, which prohibited him from viewing pornography. The judge therefore refused to try him as a young offender.

“The accused is privileged, he comes from a wealthy family, he is white.”

The magistrate, however, refused to sentence him to prison. During his trial, the young man said he felt “a lot of remorse”. “Through the treatment and reflection, I have come to feel deep shame and regret for my actions. None of you deserved to be in this situation,” he told his victims.

According to the lawyer for one of them, “justice was not served today. The trial judge had said that if the accused were to deviate from the strict standards established during probation, there would be serious consequences. There were none. The accused is privileged, he comes from a well-to-do family, he is white. He is condemned as an adult, appropriately. to shoot these crimes without going to jail is unfair. “

Judge © pexels

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