Congresswoman Frederica Wilson on Geralyn Graham's sentence

Wilson says she's followed Rilya case since she disappeared in 2000

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MIAMI - Congresswoman Frederica Wilson has issued a statement after Geralyn Graham was sentenced to 55 years in prison Tuesday for kidnapping and abuse in connection with the disappearance of 4-year-old Rilya Wilson.

Wilson said she has followed the case since Rilya disappeared and says she has been an advocate for her and other foster children.

RELATED: Graham sentenced in Rilya case

Congresswoman Wilson released the following statement Tuesday:

"I am satisfied with the prison sentence that Geralyn Graham received for the torture of Rilya Wilson, an innocent and defenseless little girl who suffered horribly at the hands of the woman entrusted with her care.

Graham's prison sentence is justice for Rilya and it brings some closure to this tragic chapter in our history.

I thank the State Attorney and her staff for the tremendous job they did in prosecuting this case and seeing it through. Now, we must work to ensure that what happened to Rilya never happens again.

This week, I will be reintroducing the Rilya Wilson Act, a bipartisan bill that will increase state and federal officials' cooperation, transparency and vigilance to protect the lives of children in foster care.

During my time in Florida's Legislature, I was proud to pass the state's Rilya Wilson Act to ensure that foster children attend school.

The federal version of the Rilya Wilson Act — which has received support from more than 100 bipartisan co-sponsors in Congress — would require state child-welfare agencies to report information on missing or abducted foster children promptly to local law enforcement agencies so that disappearances can be promptly reported to the National Crime Information Center.

Such simple rules could have saved Rilya."

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