Murder of Pearl River teen initiates push for ‘Paula’s Law’

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A new bill named for a Rockland teen murdered nearly 40 years ago is designed to deny the chance of parole to anyone convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering children.

The new bill is called Paula's Law, after Paula Bohovesky, the Pearl River teen who was sexually assaulted and murdered by two men in 1980. The law would jail anyone convicted of raping and murdering anyone under 18 for life with no chance of parole.

The current law, called Joan's Law, denies parole to those convicted of sexually assaulting and killing children only under the age of 14.

Joan's Law was named after Joan D'Allesandro, of New Jersey, a 7-year-old who was sexually assaulted then murdered in 1973.

Joan's mother Rosemarie D’Allesandro says she is fighting to extend the law to cover older children and name it after Paula to help Paula's mother, Lois Bohovesky.

“Her daughter will never be forgotten and will be helping all those children, so her daughter's suffering is not in vain,” says D’Allesando.

The law, if passed, will not be retroactive, meaning Paula Bohovesky's killers, Richard LaBarbara and Robert McCain, will still be eligible for parole. While McCain is still in jail, LaBarbera was granted parole last month before violating his parole terms last week.

Lawmakers say they expect the law will pass in Albany next year after the state Legislature goes back into session next year.

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