LACONIA — E. Justin Blanchette, 36, a former sergeant with the Belknap County Sheriff's Department, has been indicted by a Hillsborough County grand jury on a charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault.
Blanchette is accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate while transporting her from the Belknap County House of Correction to the N.H. State Prison for Women in Goffstown on July 2 of this year.
The indictment says that Blanchette drove the 31-year-old woman to an abandoned home in Bedford where he is alleged to have penetrated her sexually. "At that time he was in a position of authority over 'B.H.' and used that authority to coerce 'B.H.' to submit," the indictment reads.
Blanchette resigned from his position with the Sheriff's Department in August after having been placed on paid administrative leave on July 20. At the time of his resignation Sheriff Craig Wiggin said that there was an investigation, but it was a personnel matter and he wasn't going to comment further.
Blanchette joined the Sheriff's Department in October of 2011 and was a police officer in Laconia prior to joining the county force. Blanchette had received a meritorious service award in 2008 while an officer in Laconia and had served as treasurer of the Belknap County Sheriff's Relief Association until his resignation.
A Raymond High School graduate Blanchette served in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining the Laconia police force.
The complaint from the Bedford Police Department says that Blanchette's last known address was 210 Woodridge Road, Franklin.
If convicted, he faces 10-20 years in prison.
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