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Burglary suspect files lawsuit against Portsmouth police detective for taking DNA sample

PORTSMOUTH — A man suspected of twice burglarizing a Seacoast jewelry store and about 15 others in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against a Portsmouth police detective for taking his DNA sample while he was being held at a Massachusetts jail.

James Jay Radler, 52, is being investigated in the Feb. 7 and Feb. 22 looting of about $20,000 from Chrisrial & Co. Fine Jewelry in Portsmouth. He is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Middleton, Mass., while facing charges for allegedly carrying out a regional burglary spree in the Bay State.

Radler is seeking $10,000 for “physical suffering” and $100,000 for emotional and psychological suffering in connection with the DNA cheek swab.

Radler is contesting in U.S. District Court in Boston whether Portsmouth police detective Timothy Cashman had the right to collect his DNA, claiming that a search warrant signed by a New Hampshire judge has no legal weight in Massachusetts.

Cashman obtained the search warrant March 10 from a New Hampshire circuit court judge to take a DNA sample from the inner cheek of Radler, according to court papers. Radler said in his lawsuit that he protested being forced by corrections officials to provide a sample to Cashman. Cashman collected the sample from Radler on March 12.

Corrections officials informed Radler that the search warrant was legal because it was signed by a judge, according to the lawsuit.

Radler claims that he asked a corrections official to call his attorney, but was told no such call would be made and that he had to comply with the search warrant.

A federal judge in Massachusetts will now consider whether Radler’s constitutional rights were violated after he refused to provide the DNA sample. The corrections department and city of Portsmouth have not yet replied to the lawsuit.

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