LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was sentencing day in Niagara County Court for the Lewiston teen who pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes when he was 18.
20 year-old Christopher Belter has been on a strict probation program since taking the plea deal in the summer of 2019. If completed with no fault, he would avoid jail time and be granted youthful offender status, meaning he would not have to register as a sex offenders.
Youthful offenders in New York State are not required to register as sex offenders, because if a person is granted youthful offender status, their records are not available to the public.
Wednesday, a Niagara County Court Judge was unable to begin sentencing, citing newly discovered evidence that Belter did violate parts of his interim probation, including bypassing security measures by probation on his computer to view sexual material.
There was also an allegation made in court that Belter had access to a computer to Venmo a family member money for a gram of marijuana, which would be another violation of his interim probation.
The judge says Belter has “not been completely compliant” with the strict probation.
One of the victims of rape also spoke in court, describing her horrific experience with Belter saying he was “a fire that raged through acres of our lives.”
The victim says when she was 16, she trusted that justice would be served, and she doesn’t believe it has. She pleaded with the judge saying “you have the ability to put this fire out, or let it keep burning.”
Belter’s interim probation status ends on Saturday, but the judge granted an extension until the next court date in September.
Belter’s attorney, Barry Covert argued his client has been completely compliant with the probation guidelines.
Another hearing is scheduled for September 20.