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Sexual assault survivor "disgusted" by judge's decision

Sexual assault survivor
Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 19, 2021

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — “I was disgusted that was even an option.”

A 20 year-old sexual assault survivor says she sat in the Niagara County Courtroom Tuesday and lost her composure when she heard Judge Matthew Murphy say her rapist, 20 year-old Christopher Belter would avoid time behind bars, instead getting eight years probation.

“The judge had the opportunity to put out the fire but he chose to let it keep burning,” she said. “I didn’t expect to be as emotional as I was, but I just broke down.” She says she had to immediately run to the bathroom to throw up.

The survivor, who has asked us to call her MM was one of four survivors that Belter pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting during a period of a year and a half from 2017-2018.

It’s been years of court appearances and constant replay of the darkest day in her life, all coming to an end she wasn’t expecting. Judge Murphy saying he “prayed” about the decision before he made it, but believed jail time would be “inappropriate.”

She says she believes Belter, who grew up in a well-off family, his parents both attorneys once again avoided consequences.

MM says her assault was when she was 16, the night before she was scheduled to go to a music festival in Chicago with Belter and his sister. She was staying over at the teen’s Lewiston home as a guest of his sisters.

“I remember kicking and screaming looking at that plant trying to focus on it being over and he kept saying ’stop being such a baby, if you stop resisting it won’t hurt as bad.”

She says the nightmare and pain she has experienced is something she will deal with the rest of her life.

“I remember every second, and ever since it happened it constantly replays in my head” she said.

MM believes her voice is powerful, and she hopes to inspire and help other survivors of sexual assault.

Judge Murphy will retire at the end of next month at the age of 70.