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Nov 10, 2016 8:52 AM

NH sheriff's deputy in prison for raping inmates making steps to appeal

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) — A lawyer for a former Belknap County sheriff's deputy seeking to appeal his sex assault conviction says his client maintains he was wrongfully convicted.

The Concord Monitor reports Brad Davis, the lawyer for Ernest Justin Blanchette, filed a defense brief in the state Supreme Court as part of the appeal process. Prosecutors have until Jan. 6 to respond.

Blanchette was sentenced to prison on charges he sexually assaulted an inmate while transporting her from a county courthouse to prison in 2015. He's currently facing similar allegations.

Davis argues part of state law's definition of a rape through coercion involves the victim being incarcerated in a correctional facility "where the actor is employed." He says Blanchette should be exempt because he was employed by the county sheriff, not the prison.

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