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Massena man gets 15 years in prison for assault


CANTON — A Massena man who admitted sexually assaulting an 86-year-old woman after breaking into her home in 2009 was sentenced Monday in St. Lawrence County Court to 15 years in state prison.

Jason D. Tassie, 30, of 124 Main St., also was ordered by Judge Jerome J. Richards to pay $1,425 in court charges. Mr. Tassie pleaded guilty in August to first-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony.

Judge Richards in July ruled on the admissibility of DNA evidence used to link Mr. Tassie to the 2009 crime. Multiple samples had been collected from Mr. Tassie after he became a suspect in a July 26, 2012, Peeping Tom case in Massena.

The daughter of the assault victim read a statement from her mother at the sentencing: “I don’t want compensation. I am safe in knowing that he will be behind bars for 15 years.”

Mr. Tassie wept when he addressed the court, but received no sympathy from the judge.

“These two women didn’t deserve or ask for this,” Judge Richards said. “You have a serious problem, and the only thing that is going to help you is to tear the skin off and deal with the ugly person underneath.”

In other court action Monday:

James A. Berry, 22, of 36 Park Ave., Massena pleaded not guilty to second-degree vehicular manslaughter, a class D felony, and driving while ability impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs, an unclassified misdemeanor.

It is alleged that on Aug. 2, Mr. Berry’s car struck Edward S. Remington, 46, of 155 E. Orvis St., Apt. 9, Massena, as Mr. Remington was walking near his home. Mr. Remington died the following day at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt.

Mr. Berry was sent back to St. Lawrence County jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.

Brandon R. Graves, 21, of 224 Harper Road, Lisbon, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony.

It is alleged that on Aug. 29 in Massena, Mr. Graves and Danielle S. Jensen, 17, same address, were in possession of a .22-caliber revolver and a .38-caliber revolver.

It also is alleged that the .38 had been defaced for the purpose of concealing or preventing the detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of the revolver.

Ms. Jensen also was scheduled to appear Monday but was not present in the courtroom. Judge Richards informed her attorney, Mary E. Rain, that Ms. Jensen has until 4:30 p.m. Friday to appear.

Mr. Graves was sent to St. Lawrence County jail without bail.

Charles A. Attard, 19, Mineola, was placed on one year of interim probation after a July 19 guilty plea to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class D felony.

On Dec. 1, Mr. Attard was arrested as the result of a drug sting that included the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force and members of the Potsdam Police Department after they conducted several undercover purchases of cocaine.

Sentencing was adjourned to 9:15 a.m. Sept. 22.

Ronald F. Baker, 45, of 1442 County Route 24, Fowler, was sentenced to a minimum of 22 months and a maximum of 66 months after his July 24 guilty plea to third-degree criminal possession of weapon, a class D felony. He also was ordered to pay $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Mr. Baker’s mother, Louise J. Baker, 70, same address, was sentenced to five years’ probation for the charge of third-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a class E felony, and three years’ probation for the charge of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class A misdemeanor.

She also was ordered to pay $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Police reported finding a cache of weapons in the Bakers’ home Jan. 5, including AK-47 and Bushmaster rifles.

State police arrested the Bakers Jan. 5 after Mr. Baker allegedly became combative with rescue workers who were responding to aid a family member who was having a seizure, trying to prevent them from entering the home.

Mr. Baker was convicted of threatening three people with knives in 1986, and of illegal possession of a shotgun in 2000.

Terry A. Ostraski, 49, 20 Barton St., Apt. 17, Parishville, was placed on one year of interim probation for driving while intoxicated, a class E felony. Sentencing was adjourned to 9:15 a.m. Sept. 22.

Judge Richards said Mr. Ostraski is facing a life sentence due to five DWIs.

Police said Mr. Ostraski had a blood alcohol content of 0.12 percent while driving a 2002 Pontiac on Feb. 21 in the town of Parishville. A BAC of 0.08 percent or more is considered proof of intoxication under state law.

Judge Richards requested probation reports every three months, with the first report submitted Jan. 6, updating him on Mr. Ostraski’s status with treatment and compliance.

Brendon C. Warren, 38, of 1124 Oak Point Road, Brier Hill, pleaded guilty to DWI, a class E felony. Mr. Warren had a 0.11 percent BAC while driving Dec. 17 on County Route 2 in Morristown. He previously was convicted of DWI, misdemeanor, on Feb. 22, 2005.

Sentencing was adjourned to 9:15 a.m. Nov. 18.

Janek P. Podeswik, 25, Syracuse, was placed on one year of interim probation after a guilty plea to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony.

On April 11, police stopped Mr. Podeswik and Jose Antonio Castro-Luzunaris, Massena, on Maple Street when they were investigating a home invasion on Spruce Street. Mr. Podeswik was found with a bag containing seven bundles of heroin.

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