Assemblyman Anil Beephan, Jr. (R,C-East Fishkill) is preparing to introduce his first bill (A.3277) as a state legislator to the Assembly, in response to the death of Melanie Chianese of Wappingers Falls.Called “Melanie’s Law,” the bill would close the loophole to allow courts to issue orders of protection for immediate family members or household members of the named victims, regardless of age.
Melanie Chianese, 29, was brutally stabbed in her Wappingers Falls home on May 29, 2022. Her mother's ex-boyfriend, Paul Senecal, has been charged with killing Melanie, who left behind a 3-year-old son. There was an order of protection preventing Senecal from contacting Melanie's mother at the time of the murder, but not one to protect the daughter.
In Chianese's case, her mother, Cheryl Chianese, requested an order of protection for her daughter before the Wappingers Falls tragedy occurred, but was denied. Beephan's bill would amend the family court act and the criminal procedure law to allow courts to issue orders of protection for immediate family members or household members of a victim, regardless of age.
“As I introduce ‘Melanie's Law,’ to the Assembly, I encourage my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to join in support of closing this dangerous loophole,” Beephan said. “Our system was unable to save Melanie, but we have a responsibility and obligation to do our part to prevent this situation from happening again.”