Jul 6, 2016 12:21 PM

Former Belknap County sheriff appeals rape conviction

NH1.com

CONCORD — The attorney for convicted rapist and former Belknap County Sheriff Ernest Justin Blanchette has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court seeking to overturn his April conviction.

The Laconia Daily Sun reported Blanchette's lawyer Brad Davis claims multiple errors were made by Hillsborough County North Judge Gillian Abramson during the course of Blanchette's trial. Those errors he claims include prior bad acts being allowed into evidence and the judge's interpretation of specific laws.

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 N.H. State Prison for Women in Goffstown on July 2, 2015.

He is facing multiple indictments in Belknap County Superior Court for similar acts he alleged committed while transporting other inmates, including his first victim, in Belknap County. Belknap County Presiding Justice James O'Neill has said he doesn't want to try the Belknap County cases until the Supreme Court rules on the Hillsborough North case.

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.

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