Appeals court upholds man’s conviction

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SANDPOINT — The Idaho Court of Appeals is upholding the judgment and sentence imposed against a Blanchard man who was convicted of kidnapping and rape.

Joe Fred Ransom was accused of perpetrating the crimes against a former girlfriend at the woman’s remote cabin in April 2016. The woman, 51, testified that Ransom beat her and ordered her to call family members to say goodbye. Ransom also threatened to mutilate her and torture her during a four-hour ordeal which culminated in her rape.

Ransom took the stand during his trial to categorically reject the allegations.

Jurors, however, concluded that the woman’s testimony was more credible than the defendant’s.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan ordered Ransom to serve a life sentence, the first 10 years of which were fixed.

Ransom, who accused the state of railroading him for a crime he did not commit, moved for a reduction of sentence, but Buchanan denied the request. Ransom subsequently appealed the denial of his motion for leniency.

But the appeals court found that Buchanan had not abused her discretion in rejecting Ransom’s motion, according to an unpublished opinion released on Tuesday.

“Therefore, Ransom’s judgment of conviction and sentence, and the district court’s order Ransom’s Rule 35 motion, are affirmed,” the court said in the unanimous decision.

Ransom, 55, is imprisoned at the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino, according to the Idaho Department of Correction’s website. He becomes eligible for parole in 2026.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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