Sen. Serino: ‘Melanie’s Law’ would close ‘dangerous loophole,’ prevent domestic violence tragedies

A new bill named for domestic violence victim Melanie Chianese has been introduced in the state Senate to protect family members of victims seeking help.

Blaise Gomez

Oct 21, 2022, 4:27 PM

Updated 582 days ago

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A new bill named for domestic violence victim Melanie Chianese has been introduced in the state Senate to protect family members of victims seeking help.
“Melanie’s Law” would require judges provide restraining orders to immediate family or household members of a victim seeking help – regardless of their age.
In Chianese' case, her mother, Cheryl Chianese, says she requested an order of protection for her daughter before the Wappingers Falls tragedy in May but it was denied.
Paul Senecal is accused in the fatal stabbing of the 29-year-old at the home she shared with her mother and 3-year-old toddler. He was charged with murder.
Authorities say Senecal was arrested three times for domestic violence-related crimes against the victim's mother at the time of the killing and had a restraining order prohibiting him from going to their house.
Senecal is scheduled to have a competency hearing October to determine if he's fit to stand trial.
State Sen. Sue Serino, of Dutchess County, sponsored the bill and introduced it in August. Serino says the law would close a “dangerous loophole” and help prevent tragedies like Melanie’s death from happening again.


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