Rindge

Suspect contests wire tap

Sex assault cases near court dates

KEENE — Two Rindge men, a father and son, charged in separate cases with committing felony-level sexual assaults, are nearing court dates, according to documents available Monday at Cheshire County Superior Court. In the meantime, one of them, Jason Czekalski, 52, has asked the court to throw out evidence gathered from a police-recorded phone call in January. He has also asked Judge John C. Kissinger Jr. to be recused from the case.

The older Czekalski, Jason Czekalski, was arrested on sexual assault charges on Jan. 25, following a phone call between himself and the alleged victim, his daughter, that was tapped by Rindge police.

On Oct. 28, Czekalski filed a motion to suppress evidence obtained through the January phone call, claiming it was done unlawfully. By not being recorded in a way that would protect it from being altered or edited, and because the state did not provide a statement listing the other methods it used to find evidence for the alleged crimes, Czekalski asserts that the evidence obtained from the phone call should not be used against him.

Assistant Cheshire County Attorney John M. Gasaway, Jr. objected to Czekalski’s motion, noting that he authorized the Rindge police to tap into the phone call in January, which was a lawful procedure. Gasaway requested the court deny the motion to suppress on Nov. 6.

Kissinger has not yet ruled on Czekalski’s request.

Czekalski was indicted in March on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, one count of felonious sexual assault and one count of witness tampering. A grand jury indicted Czekalski with two further counts of pattern aggravated felonious sexual assault in August. According to court documents, state prosecutors plan to substitute the August indictments for the pattern indictments returned in March. All of the alleged sexual assaults took place over a period between Sept. 1993 and Dec. 1995, against Czekalski’s daughter, who was under 13 years of age at the time.

Czekalski was originally released from jail on Feb. 6, after Charles A. Willard posted $10,000 bail for him. But nine days later, Rindge police arrested him on a warrant and charged Czekalski with violating a protective order that prohibited him from contacting his wife, a misdemeanor-level charge. In January and February, Czekalski had made contact with his wife from jail through a third party to secure bail money. Czekalski was later sentenced in April to 180 days in jail with 60 days suspension, pending good behavior, for this violation . The week before, Czekalski had his bail revoked at the arraignment for his sexual assault charges based on the number and severity of the charges.

Czekalski continues to be held without bail, following a bail hearing in August when Kissinger denied Czekalski’s request to be released.

On the same day he filed the motion to suppress, Czekalski also asked Kissinger to recuse himself from the case. As an attorney for three years prior to his arrest, Czekalski claims that because he has appeared before the court and judge in a professional manner, Kissinger cannot rule on Czekalski’s case in an unbiased manner. According to Czekalski’s motion, he “will be treated to a different standard than a non-attorney defendant.” Czekalski says in the court document that he thinks he will be treated more harshly, using the denial of his bail as an example.

Kissinger has yet to rule on this motion.

A hearing for both pending motions is scheduled for Nov. 22, according to court documents. There is no set date for Czekalski’s trial, as he has asked for more time to gather information. On Nov. 14, Czekalski filed a waiver of speedy trial.

Luke Czekalski, 27, the son of Jason Czekalski, has a plea and sentencing trial set for Nov. 26 at 2 p.m., according to court documents. Czekalski has been held on $10,000 bail since his arrest last year.

Following statements made on Oct. 26, 2012, to Jaffrey Police Det. Joseph Hileman, Luke Czekalski was arrested on a warrant on Oct. 30, 2012, for multiple charges of sexual assault against a child between the ages of 6 and 13 that took place between September and October 2012. According to court documents, Luke Czekalski had gone to the Police Department with his father to speak with Hileman. The older Czekalski was acting as his son’s attorney at the time.

Luke Czekalski was later indicted on Jan. 28, 2013, on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and three counts of felonious sexual assault, all against a child under the age of 13.

On Aug. 20, Luke Czekalski filed a notice of his intent to plead guilty. His plea and sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for Nov. 4, but after filing a motion to continue the plea and sentencing to accommodate a doctor who will testify for the defendant, Luke Czekalski’s court date has been moved to Nov. 26.

Elodie can be reached by phone at 924-7172 ext. 228, or by email at ereed@ledgertranscript.com. Elodie is also on Twitter @elodie_reed.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.