By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
DOVER — Accused rapist and former Belknap County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Ernest Justin Blanchette has posted bail, according to a sergeant at the Strafford County House of Corrections.
Blanchette, 36, had been held there after Judge James O'Neill set bail at $100,000 cash or $400,000 corporate surety. It is unclear how bail was posted or who posted it. O'Neill denied Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen's request for a source of funds hearing should he post it.
Blanchette was a sergeant with the sheriff's department until he resigned in August after being placed on paid administrative leave in the beginning of July.
Sheriff Craig Wiggin has since disclosed Blanchette resigned in the face of being fired.
Blanchette was indicted by a North Hillsborough County grand jury in October of 2015 for one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault on a female prisoner he was transporting from Belknap County to the State Prison for Women in Goffstown. His trial date is set for late April.
After a secret grand jury indictment on Feb. 19, Blanchette was arrested by police while he was at the 6th Circuit Court, Franklin Division, for a civil matter and arraigned later that day in the Belknap County Superior Court on eight additional aggravated felonious assault charges and one felonious sexual assault charge. Accusations include rapes involving the same victim as in Hillsborough County, one additional female victim, and a series of charges that he had prisoners he was transporting engage in sexual acts with each other.