By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
MANCHESTER — An attorney representing a former Belknap County Deputy who has been indicted for 10 counts of rape is asking a Hillsborough County North judge to admit into evidence a recording the alleged victim had with one of her friends saying she wanted to have sex with him.
The conversation, which was recorded at the Strafford County Jail on Sept. 4, 2015, was given to Ernest Justin Blanchette's lawyer, Brad Davis, in December as part of the state's responsibility to provide him with all of the evidence, including that which may be considered exculpatory.
A snippet of the recording indicates the victim, identified as B.H., informed her friend that she had two lawyers coming to visit her regarding a lawsuit she planned to file. Her friend replied that (a lawsuit) is "just ridiculous" because B.H. was a willing participant.
B.H. said that it didn't matter, to which her friend replied, "It does matter, you've destroyed him."
Blanchette also wants a jury to hear B.H. admitting the sex was "consensual" and the lawyers know it.
Her friend suggests B.H. just want to (have sex with) him, to which B.H. replied, "Of course I did, he's (expletive) sexy."
Blanchette faces one count of having sex with B.H. in an abandoned home in Bedford while he was transporting her from the Belknap County House of Corrections to the New Hampshire State Prison for Women in Goffstown, he has put forward a consent defense.
The prosecution said the law is clear and there can be no consent when one person has custody over another, in this case Blanchette over a prisoner. In two separate matters pending in the Belknap County Superior Court, Blanchette faces two additional counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault against the same victim. He faces seven more rape charges for alleged actions taken with other inmates during official custody and transport.
Blanchette's legal argument is that a statement isn't hearsay, or second hand, if one of the participants plans on taking the stand to testify as a victim. He noted for the court that B.H. is expected to be the primary witness.
He also said that under different rules of evidence, the recording shows that B.H. intends to capitalize on her alleged encounter(s) with Blanchette and that it is evidence of her state of mind.
Davis noted that conversations in jail are routinely recorded and each incarcerated person incarcerated signs a waiver that says he or she understands this.
The prosecution has not replied to the motion. Final pretrial is scheduled for April 25.
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