55-year sentence for Rilya Wilson's foster mom

, The Associated Press

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Rilya Wilson
Rilya Wilson

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.

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