MANCHESTER – A former Belknap County sheriff's deputy charged with raping a woman he was transporting to the New Hampshire State Prison for Women posted $5,000 cash bail Thursday after he was ordered to do so by Manchester North Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown.
He is also ordered to stay away from the victim and to stay away from his wife while abiding by the terms specified by the 6th Circuit Court, Franklin Family Division. He is also ordered to continue counseling.
Brown also denied a request for a bill of particulars and a motion to dismiss the single charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault against Ernest Justin Blanchette, 36, of 39 Nathanial Drive of Fremont.
The state alleges that while transporting a female prisoner from Belknap County to the prison in Goffstown and while she was in Blanchette's custody, he coerced her to have sex with him in an abandoned house somewhere in Hillsborough County.
Attorney Brad Davis argued that since the indictment doesn't state any additional information regarding the specific acts Blanchette allegedly used to coerce the woman, he can't mount an effective defense against the charges.
In reply, Hillsborough Assistant County Attorney Michael Zaino argued that the charge is not so ambiguous as to prevent Davis from mounting a defense.
Davis also filed a motion notifying the prosecution that he will be using a consent defense, meaning the state must prove all of the elements of the offense including coercion.
Note: This story has been updated to say it was a deputy who was charged and posted bail.
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