MASSENA A recently submitted DNA sample for a conviction in another case connected a Massena man to the August 2009 sexual assault of a woman in her 80s living in the Beach Street area.
Village police on Saturday charged Jason D. Tassie, 29, of 8 Tracy St., with felony counts of first-degree burglary and second-degree aggravated sexual assault.
Tassie was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, with bail set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said the case demonstrated the value of DNA evidence.
As technology has evolved, law enforcement has improved our use of it, he said. Victims of cases like this one have a greater chance in seeing justice done. This case illustrates just that. Thankfully this crime will not go unsolved, and this defendant can now be held accountable for this despicable act.
Shortly before 10 p.m. Aug. 8, 2009, a Saturday, the woman was alone in her home in the Beach Street neighborhood when an assailant entered through an unlocked door and assaulted her, according to police. The woman, in her 80s, was treated at Massena Memorial Hospital.
Massena Village Police Investigator Joseph W. Brown said DNA evidence was collected and placed in a DNA database.
Mr. Brown said that recently Tassie had submitted DNA evidence for a conviction for second-degree menacing.
That sample was also entered into the database and within the last week we were notified they had discovered a match between the John Doe sample submitted in 2009 and the offender sample recently obtained from Mr. Tassie, he said.
Police said at the time of the incident that the assailant was believed to be a white male approximately 30 years of age who wore dark clothing and a red bandana over his face. He was described as 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8, approximately 165 pounds, with dark, short hair and silver-colored, round-rimmed glasses that appeared to be too small for his face, which the victim described as pudgy with puffy cheeks.
Village police had urged residents to take precautions, such as locking their doors and windows, leaving outside lights on at night, trimming shrubs or bushes so burglars cannot hide in the shadows and reporting suspicious activity.