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Court upholds convictions, 55-year sentence for woman in Rilya Wilson missing child case


MIAMI — A Florida appeals court has upheld the kidnapping and child abuse convictions for Geralyn Graham in the case of missing foster child Rilya Wilson.

A panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal also upheld the 55-year sentence imposed on Graham in 2013. Judge Kevin Emas dissented in part, saying Graham more properly should have been convicted of false imprisonment rather than kidnapping.

Four-year-old Rilya vanished in December 2000 from Graham's home and no traces of her have ever been found. Her disappearance wasn't noticed for 15 months, triggering numerous reforms at the Department of Children and Families.

Because of a lone holdout, the trial jury failed to convict Graham of first-degree murder. Prosecutors later decided not to retry her on that charge.

Graham consistently denied harming Rilya.

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