Woman works to pass Brittany's Law which would protect young victims of sexual abuse

Getting support from John Walsh

Barbara Martin reads lines out of niece Brittany Carleo's diary. They tell the tale of a troubled life.

 

In 2006, Carleo was shot and killed at a Tropical Smoothie in Port St. Lucie where she worked.

 

A 17-year-old trying to turn her life around, Carleo was killed by a 42-year-old man who had been sexually abusing her.

 

"She knew he was going to kill her because he was just that crazy," Martin says from her Port St. Lucie home.

 

For the past 3 years, Martin has been spearheading the effort to get lawmakers in Tallahassee to pass "Brittany's Law".

 

"This is what she wanted.  To protect other children and families and people from going through this," said Martin.

 

Port St. Lucie police officer Robert Steinkraus helped craft the bill.

 

"My idea is that anytime a sexual predator or offender is arrested they're held without bond similar to domestic violence or gang members, until first appearance," said Officer Steinkraus.

 

Victims would also get the chance to share with the court their stories.

 

Steinkraus had been investigating the relationship between Brittany and her killer for months.  He could only get the killer, Scott Uslan, jailed on harassing phone calls.  He easily bonded out.

 

On Monday, as Martin looked through Brittany's final keepsakes, including a lock of her hair, she got some good news.  Noted victim's advocate John Walsh is throwing his support behind the measure.  

 

"He brings more publicity, more awareness to what's taking place," said Martin.

 

Right now, Brittany's law is just a bill in a legislative subcommittee.  But the hope is that with this big name push, the third time will be the charm to get justice for Brittany and others in similar situations.

 

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