On paper anyway, Rilya’s caregiver was Pamela Graham, Geralyn’s younger lover. The two are not related but Geralyn lied and told Muskelly that they were sisters.
It was Geralyn, Muskelly testified, who ran the household and made decisions relating to the children. Geralyn Graham claimed she was a children’s author of Bahamian descent.
The home was always clean, well-decorated. Although there were no signs of abuse or inappropriate behavior, Rilya was not the same exuberant child she had been at her previous foster home, Muskelly said.
“She was just there, sitting around,” Muskelly told prosecutor Joshua Weintraub.
On cross examination — and in sometimes testy exchanges with defense lawyer Scott Sakin — Muskelly had to answer for her own conduct and a slew of conflicting paperwork.
Muskelly admitted she started checking in on Rilya via phone calls to Graham because of a heavy caseload — and because Graham kept canceling appointments. She also admitted to charging taxpayers for days she claimed to be working for DCF — when she was actually substitute teaching as a side gig allowed by DCF.
The former DCF employee claimed she stopped checking on Rilya when the girl’s case was transferred to another unit within the agency in January 2001, when she filed a report describing the children as “very happy and well cared for.”
Muskelly suggested that perhaps she incorrectly, in her handwriting, had changed the date on the report. Sakin also pressed her on a judicial review — filed eight months after Muskelly claimed to have stopped checking on Rilya — that indicated the Grahams were “addressing the children’s needs, the children [were] being supported in a family-like setting.”