Oct 25, 2016 10:47 AM

2nd trial for ex-Belknap County Deputy Sheriff convicted of raping inmate delayed

LACONIA — Former Belknap County Deputy Sheriff convicted of raping a female inmate may not have a second criminal trial until next summer.

READ: Former Belknap County sheriff appeals rape conviction

Ernest "Justin" Blanchette was convicted of one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault when he had intercourse with a woman in Bedford while he was transporting her from the Belknap County Court House to the NH State Prison for Women in Goffstown on July 2, 2015.

Blanchette was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison with two of the minimum term suspended provided he be of good behavior and successfully complete a sexual offender course while incarcerated.

He is also facing nine other counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault in Belknap County Superior Court for similar acts he allegedly committed while transporting other inmates, the Laconia Daily Sun reported.

During a Monday morning hearing to discuss the status of those charges, defense attorney Brad Davis, who appealed the conviction to the NH Supreme Court this summer, said he must submit his brief by Nov. 7.

The Attorney General's Office has until Jan. 6 to file its response. Oral arguments before the justices will then be scheduled.

The prosecutor said the high court may not issue an opinion in the case until next summer.

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