Joan's Law founder to testify against parole for killer

The Bergen County mother behind Joan's Law will speak to the state parole board this week in hopes of keeping her daughter's murderer behind bars.

This is the fourth time in 15 years Rosemarie D'Allesandro will testify to keep Joseph McGowan in prison. McGowan raped and murdered D'Allesandro's 7-year-old daughter Joan 35 years ago while the girl was selling Girl Scout cookies.

After her daughter's death, D'Allessandro helped create legislation to sentence sexual predators who murder children younger than 14 to life in prison. New Jersey passed Joan's Law in 1997; a year later it became federal law.

D'Allesandro plans to bring a poster of her daughter and a tape recording of her voice to the parole hearing.

"I'm going to talk to them about Joan and get them to understand she was an innocent girl and a beautiful child," she says.

McGowan is eligible for parole in January as he was convicted before Joan's Law was passed. A demonstration to protest his release will be held on State Street in Trenton before D'Allesandro's testimony.

For the interview with Rosemarie D'Allesandro, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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