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Complaints growing in Lewiston sex abuse case that resulted in probation

A criminal case that resulted in Christopher Belter getting probation for sex crimes has some calling for the Judge to resign.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Christopher Belter, now 20, was a teenager when he was accused of sexually assaulting four teen girls in his family's Lewiston home in 2017 and 2018. 

He pleaded guilty to rape, attempted sexual abuse, and other charges. The courts sentenced him to probation. He violated his probation, according to the courts, when he installed software on his computer that would allow him to watch pornography.  

Judge Matt Murphy sentenced him to eight years probation.

John Bellocchio, co-chairman of the New Jersey chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests told 2 On Your Side, "the judge's decision sent a chilling effect to victims of the powerful across the country and the message it sent was stay silent because we're not going to do much about individuals who may attack you, who may commit a crime against you.  For a judge to sit on a bench and say that he agonized over this and prayed about it and decided prison was inappropriate, I felt a response was necessary."

"How is it that you commit this many acts that are felonies in New York State, on this many individuals and yet you are able to not go to prison," he said.

Bellocchio filed a complaint with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct claiming Judge Murphy “failed to insulate the court from the appearance of impropriety; both are vitally important to the functionality of an independent judiciary.”

Credit: WGRZ-TV

The complaint also said, “Judge Murphy should be suspended immediately until the date of his retirement from the bench for violating the Rules of the Administrative Judge, and given that victims have been re-victimized by his inability to properly discharge his duties.”

On December 2, Belter will return to court to learn what level he will be given on the Sex Offender Registry.