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Prosecutor: 2nd victim comes forward in sex assault case

  • Jason Czekalski of Rindge waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Tuesday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Jason Czekalski of Rindge waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Tuesday.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Jason Czekalski of Rindge waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Tuesday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Jason Czekalski of Rindge waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Tuesday.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Jason Czekalski of Rindge waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Tuesday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Jason Czekalski of Rindge waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Tuesday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

JAFFREY — A Rindge father and son remain in jail, both facing sexual assault charges. Assistant Cheshire County Attorney John M. Gasaway Jr. says more charges may be filed against the father, Jason A. Czekalski, as a second victim has come forward. A grand jury, meanwhile, has handed down indictments in the case against Luke Czekalski.

Jason Czekalski, 51, of Rindge was arrested on Jan. 25 and charged with two counts of felonious sexual assault and one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault, all felony-level charges, according to court documents.

A Cheshire County Grand Jury indicted Luke Czekalski, 26, of Rindge on Monday on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and three counts of felonious sexual assault, according to Jaffrey police records.

As of press time Wednesday, both suspects were still being held in lieu of $10,000 cash each at the Cheshire County House of Corrections.

Jason Czekalski, who was charged with sexually assaulting a family member in the 1990s, waived his right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Tuesday.

While the defense maintains Jason Czekalski — who has lived in Rindge for more than 20 years — is not a threat to the community and has no criminal record, state prosecutors told the court that police investigation is ongoing and that a second victim has recently come forward.

During Tuesday’s probable cause hearing, the prosecution hand delivered to the defense a restraining order filed by Jason Czekalski’s wife, Jacqueline Czekalski, against her husband. Jason Czekalski’s public defender, James P. O’Rourke Jr. of Henniker-based Gleason Law Office, responded, saying his client was receiving news of the restraining order for the first time.

In his opening remarks in court Tuesday, O’Rourke asked Justice L. Phillips Runyon III, who presided over the proceedings, to reduce his client’s bail to a high personal recognizance bail or a temporary personal recognizance bail. O’Rourke said Jason Czekalski could post bail at $5,000 cash, but that he needed to get out of jail in order access his business account because he is the sole signatory.

“Mr. Czekalski is an attorney and does have hearings as early as tomorrow morning,” O’Rourke said. “There are other completely innocent people who are not related to this who will be harmed if he does not appear for his future court appearances.”

But Runyon told the defense that he was not going to reduce bail on those grounds and that if Jason Czekalski needed to sign something he could do so through O’Rourke or make other arrangements.

Gasaway recommended that the court raise bail to $25,000 cash. “[Jason Czekalski] does know that he made admissions on Friday during police investigation,” Gasaway said, noting that Jason Czekalski waived his Miranda rights. “Those were recorded.”

Runyon ordered Jason Czekalski’s $5,000 cash bail raised to $10,000 cash. In the event that Jason Czekalski posts bail, Runyon ordered him to remain in the state of New Hampshire. Czekalski is to have no contact with his wife or children.

According to court records, Czekalski applied for representation from a public defender after his arrest, but the Keene-based N.H. Public Defender’s Office told the Ledger-Transcript on Wednesday that it had recused itself from the case. When asked why, the office declined to comment.

By phone Wednesday, O’Rourke said he was appointed by the court to represent Jason Czekalski. He said the N.H. Public Defender’s Office reviews cases and if there is a perceived conflict the office will contact local attorneys to serve. O’Rourke declined to comment on the case.

After several months of investigation, Rindge police and N.H. State Police executed a search warrant and arrest warrant on Jan. 25 at Jason Czekalski’s home at 212 Thomas Rd. According to a complaint filed at the court, the victim is related to Jason Czekalski by blood and was 11 years old at the time of the alleged assaults, which took place between March 27, 1993, and Dec. 27, 1995.

In October 2012, Jaffrey police arrested Luke Czekalski on multiple sexual assault charges involving a minor.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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