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'We're Almost There,' Says Hillsdale Mom Ahead Of Vote On NJ Child Rape Law

Rosemarie D'Alessandro with sons John and Michael, at Joan's sculpture and garden in Hillsdale.
Rosemarie D'Alessandro with sons John and Michael, at Joan's sculpture and garden in Hillsdale. Photo Credit: D'Alessandro Family
Joan D'Alessandro
Joan D'Alessandro Photo Credit: D'Alessandro Family
Rosemarie and Joan D'Alessandro of Hillsdale.
Rosemarie and Joan D'Alessandro of Hillsdale. Photo Credit: Joan's Joy

HILLSDALE, N.J. — Rosemarie D’Alessandro of Hillsdale is so close that she can finally feel it.

Seven years after she set out to change a New Jersey child-rape statute, the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee will vote this Thursday, June 1, in Trenton on whether to advance Bill S607 -- modifying what is known as "Joan's Law."

"We're almost there," D'Alessandro told Daily Voice on Tuesday.

The measure is named after D'Alessandro's daughter, Joan, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a neighbor while selling Girl Scout Cookies in 1973.

The victims' rights advocate will be testifying for the bill, which bars parole ever for anyone who murders someone under 18 in the commission of a sex crime. The victim's age in the current law is 14.

If the committee forwards the bill, it will be voted on by the full Senate. The state Assembly already unanimously approved it on Feb. 15.With the Legislature's expected full blessing, the measure would go to Gov. Christie to be signed into law. D'Alessandro has advocated for it for seven years.

Her work has led to a movement of supporters who wrote letters, signed petitions and made phone calls.

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