Feb 18, 2016 4:14 PM
NH1 Digital Content Manager - NH1.com
A former officer for the Belknap County Sheriff's Office has been indicted on 10 charges for sexually assault five different inmates.
According to the Union Leader, Ernest Justin Blanchette was charged with nine counts of felony aggravated sexual assault and another count of sexual assault.
Blanchette was a former Belknap County sheriff’s deputy, and officials said he assaulted inmates being transported to or from correctional facilities.
He was already indicted on one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault in October.
In that case, Blanchette is accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate while transporting her to the women's state prison in July.
Because Blanchette was in a position of power, consent is not a defense for having sexual contact with the inmates and such conduct is a felony.
He was placed on administrative leave on July 20 and resigned in August.
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