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Apr 30, 2016 12:11 PM

Victim advocates criticize deputy sheriff's sex case defense

The Associated Press

MANCHESTER (AP) — Victim advocates in New Hampshire say they're stunned by a former deputy sheriff's defense that the inmate he was convicted this week of sexually assaulting during transport lured him into having sex with her.

A Hillsborough County jury deliberated barely an hour Thursday before finding 36-year-old Ernest Justin Blanchette guilty of aggravated felonious sex assault on a female convict he was transporting to the women's prison in Goffstown.

The jurors clearly rejected his attorney's assertions that the inmate manipulated and seduced him and that he did not use his authority to coerce sex.

Lyn Schollett, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, called Blanchette's action "an extraordinary abuse of authority." She says there's no such thing as consent when someone's in custody.

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