DNA Collection At Heart Of Pretrial Suppression Hearing

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Questions over whether police properly collected DNA samples from a Massena man charged with a 2009 burglary and sexual assault of an elderly woman were at the heart of a pretrial suppression hearing in St. Lawrence County Court Tuesday.
 
The attorney for 30 year old Jason Tassie is arguing that DNA from the FBI's national index system that police used to link him to the August 2009 sexual assault on a Beach Street resident was not legally collected and should not be allowed into evidence at trial.
 
Massena Police Investigator Joseph Brown testified that collections of three separate samples of Tassie's DNA had been collected since police originally submitted an evidence sample collected at the time of the attack.
 
Brown told the court he never coerced or threatened Tassie to get him to provide the samples.

One DNA sample was disposed of because Tassie was not provided with proper notification for the collection under a town court-obtained search warrant.
 
Tassie was charged by police with felony counts of second-degree aggravated sexual assault and first-degree burglary when the DNA database matched samples.

Thursday, August 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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