A mugshot of Christopher Belter.
Courtesy / Niagara County Sheriff's Office
Judge Murphy told the courtroom that he didn’t believe jail time was the right sentence for Belter, instead warning Belter that the probationary status he is facing will be “like a sword hanging over your head for the next eight years.”
“I agonized — I’m not ashamed to say that I actually prayed over what is the appropriate sentence in this case, because there was great pain. There was great harm. There were multiple crimes committed in the case,” the judge said, according to The Buffalo News.
The case is also tied to Belter’s parents and a family friend.
The Niagara Gazette reports that Belter’s mother, Tricia Vacanti, 50, his stepfather, Gary Sullo, 56, and a family friend, Jessica Long, 42, were present for what state police investigators described as alcohol and drug-fuelled parties at the family home.
Between them, the three adults face dozens of misdemeanour charges of child endangerment and unlawfully dealing with a child. Vacanti and Sullo have been accused of supplying alcohol to two underage girls during the parties.
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