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55-year sentence in Fla. missing foster child case

3:27 PM, Feb 12, 2013   |    comments
  • Rilya Wilson headshot, missing child
  • Geralyn Graham headshot, former caregiver of Rilya Wilson, during a bond hearing, Miami, Florida, photo
    
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MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida woman who once cared for missing 4-year-old foster child Rilya Wilson has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for kidnapping and child abuse convictions.

Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez imposed the sentence Tuesday on 67-year-old Geralyn Graham. Jurors could not agree last month on her guilt or innocence on a murder charge, and prosecutors will not retry Graham on that count.

Graham's sentencing closes a case that spanned more than a decade since Rilya went missing in December 2000. Her disappearance wasn't discovered for 15 months, leading to reform laws and a high-level shakeup within Florida's child welfare agency.

The prosecution was complicated because Rilya's body was never found and there were no witnesses. Graham consistently denied harming the girl.

Associated Press

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