Samantha Bryant, Rylan Ott’s mother, was sentenced in Superior Court today. Her cases were consolidated for judgement in Moore County Superior Court, and she was sentenced to 19-32 months active sentence in the Department of Adult Corrections. Judge, Mary Ann Tally, gave Bryant credit for time served of almost 14 months due to the fact that she has been incarcerated awaiting trial.
Almost two year old, Rylan Ott, wandered away from his home near Carthage and drowned in a nearby pond in April of 2016. When Rylan passed away, he and his older sister were under Department of Social Services (DSS) supervision. Previously, DSS workers had removed the two children from Bryant and put them with a foster family; however, DSS returned the children to Bryant at the end of 2015 without ever observing the child with his mother. The Moore County Social Services Director, John Benton, resigned after the death of the child.
Without DSS ever observing Bryant interacting with Rylan before reunification has led Pamela Reed, the former Guardian Ad Litem for Rylan, to help create a bill that is being reviewed called Rylan’s Law.
Rylan’s Law has passed the House of Representatives, and it is now awaiting the passage from the Senate before it can be enacted as a law. The proposed law would mandate social workers to observe children with their parents twice, at least seven days apart, before recommending to a judge whether parents should regain custody in abuse and neglect cases.