facebook
twitter
search
search

55-year term for abuse of missing girl

Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM

MIAMI, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A Miami-area woman was sentenced to 55 years in prison Tuesday for abusing and kidnapping a foster child who vanished more than 10 years ago.

Geralyn Graham, 67, of Kendall denied mistreating Rilya Wilson, The Miami Herald reported.

"I love her too much to ever have done anything to her. Things have been greatly exaggerated," Graham said. "I ask that those who believe I've done these things forgive me, and those who know in their hearts I would never do these things to keep praying for me. The truth will come out."

Rilya was in the care of Graham and her partner, Pamela Graham, who is not a biological relative, when she disappeared in 2000. The Florida Department of Children & Families did not discover for more than a year that she was not in the home, and the two women at first said she had been taken away by a childcare worker for mental health treatment.

Pamela Graham later agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges and testified against Geralyn. A jury in January deadlocked on a murder charge while convicting her of aggravated child abuse and kidnapping.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler-Mendez said the state as well as her foster mothers failed Rilya.

"Rilya Wilson deserved nothing less than a loving, caring, nurturing environment," the judge told Graham. "Instead she lived in fear and suffered in a house of torture, torment and abuse."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
U.S. airstrike kills one of first Islamic State members in Syria
Former Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachyov suing kremlin for $15 billlion
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
July 4 terror threats an annual but necessary ritual, experts say