Brittany's Law signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott: Local woman spearheaded effort

Protection against sex offenders

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - It seems a bit out of place.  A "congratulations" sign next to a gravestone in the Rolling Oaks Cemetery of Port St. Lucie.

But this is Brittany Carleo's grave and her namesake law, "Brittany's Law," was just signed by the governor.

"I felt great.  I was like, 'Finally we finished our last order of business.'  It was a relief," said Barbara Martin, Brittany's aunt.

Martin and her husband were raising Brittany at the time in 2005 when the 17-year-old Carleo was shot and killed while at work by a 42-year-old man who had been sexually abusing her. 

"I don't want anybody else to go through this and I know she didn't either.   That's why she wanted to do this.  This was her goal," said Martin.

Under Brittany's law, when a sex offender or predator is arrested, they will be held in most cases until first appearance and not granted immediate bond.  That allows police and prosecutors to look into that person's past and see if there are other red flags.

Martin would like to see some type of Brittany's Law enacted nationwide.

"There's a problem with sex offenders all over this country and I believe there are a lot of people who can benefit from this law," said Martin.

As she kisses her niece's gravestone, Martin said it took her two years after Brittany's death before she could visit the gravesite.  Now it gives her a sense of calm, some peace, and the strength to fight on.

At Monday evening's Port St. Lucie city council meeting, Martin will receive a proclamation for her efforts.

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