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Lewiston man to be tried as an adult following judge's decision in rape case

Christopher Belter
Posted at 6:07 PM, Oct 29, 2021

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7 Eyewitness News now knows what a judge has decided in the case of a Lewiston man who pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape two years ago.

It's been nearly two months since sentencing started in Niagara County for 20 year-old Christopher Belter— who admitted to raping multiple teen girls in this Lewiston home.

7 Eyewitness News can now publish Belter's name and show his face because Niagara County Judge Matthew Murphy has decided Belter will be sentenced as an adult and has been denied Youthful offender status

In an 18 page decision by the judge sent to Belter's attorney Barry Covert and the prosecution, Judge Murphy says of Belter, "we now know from his documented failure to to follow the rules imposed by the Court about abstinence from pornography that this defendant does not hesitate to ignore the rules when they compete with his own carnal appetites."

One of the biggest hurdles Belter was supposed to overcome during his two year strict probation period was to abstain from any sexually stimulating material.

Since August—we have heard from multiple witnesses—including Belter's psychiatrist and probation officer who say Belter downloaded software onto his computer to bypass the monitoring software to view pornography.

While his probation officer and psychiatrist say he has made progress—it wasn't enough for judge Murphy who says, "the defendant has made progress and perhaps if the defendant is continued on probation and sex offender counseling for another eight years, the risk to reoffend will be eliminated. But, in the meantime, the Defendant still posts an 'above average risk' to reoffend even after two years of counseling"

Belter will now have to register as a sex offender, and could face up to eight years in state prison when he is sentenced on November 16.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to Belter's attorney for comment, he did not get back to us.