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Rindge

Inmate files suit against county

Czekalski facing sexual assault trial

KEENE — A Rindge man indicted in March for sexually assaulting his oldest daughter for a period in the 1990s is suing Cheshire County and Cheshire County Department of Corrections Supt. Richard Van Wickler, calling for his own immediate release.

Jason Czekalski, 52, was indicted on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, one count of felonious sexual assault and one count of witness tampering. His trial is planned for Dec. 20, according to documents available at Cheshire County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Czekalski is currently being held without bail and is also serving a 180 day sentence with 60 days suspended for two years, pending good behavior, that he received in April after pleading guilty to violating a protective order that prohibited him from contacting his wife in late January and early February. Czekalski had made contact with his wife while in jail through a third party to secure bail money on the sexual assault charges .

Since his sentence in the spring, Czekalski filed a motion on Aug. 1 asking for a bail hearing, though this motion was denied by Judge Kissinger on Aug. 12 on the grounds that the defendant might endanger the safety of other persons in the community, especially in light of Czekalski’s recent plea to violating a protective order.

On Sept. 10, Czekalski filed a 102 count, 85-page lawsuit at the Superior Court in Keene. In the handwritten document, Czekalski claimed “immediate and irreparable” legal, spiritual and physical injury as a result of incarceration under Supt. Van Wickler at the House of Correction as he awaits trial. Czekalski, who earned his Juris Doctor degree in 2009 from the Massachusetts School of Law and is a licensed to practice law in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, according to his website, is representing himself.

Among his many written points, Czekalski says that he cannot “meaningfully participate in his own defense” from the lack of legal resources offered by the jail; that there are “religious liberty violations” because of the jail’s unwillingness to support inmates with faiths other than Christianity; that sleeping on poor mattresses in the jail has caused Czekalski physical pain; and that medications have not been administered properly. Czekalski also wrote in his suit that Van Wickler has “either failed to respond to the grievances; provided incorrect answers or inadequate remedies; or maliciously answered that the inmate should ‘go ahead and sue me.’”

Van Wickler could not be reached for comment by press time Wednesday.

Among Czekalski’s requests for relief, he is calling for immediate release from custody on the condition that his behavior be monitored ; asking that his suit be classified as a class action on behalf of the other inmates; requesting that he be granted counsel and temporary injunction for relief. He also asked that he be awarded monetary damages, as well as declaratory judgements on and corrective actions from Cheshire County and Van Wickler.

Superior Court Judge John C. Kissinger Jr. denied Czekalski’s request for immediate release on Sept. 12. According to court officials, the defendants have not yet been served. Czekalski has until Oct. 27 to do so.

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