A 22-year-old Saint Louis, Mo. woman was given two life sentences on Tuesday after being found guilty of allowing a 49-year-old man to rape her 5-month-old daughter in 2009.
According to St. Louis Today, Tessa L. Vanvlerah was charged with first-degree statutory rape and sodomy, as well as incest and child pornography.
Vanvlerah met California professor Kenneth M. Kyle online, where she agreed to his sexual fantasies. Her lawyers tried to get her off by having a doctor testify that she suffered from a dependent-personality disorder.
Dr. Brooke Kraushaar argued that Vanvlerah knew what Kyle wanted was wrong, but participated anyway out of fear of rejection. She also allowed him to choke, burn and urinate on her.
Investigators found Kyle had visited Vanvlerah four times in five months, each time initiating the sex acts with the 5-month-old and her mother at various hotels. They also found hundreds of pornographic images on his computer.
Kyle plead guilty of abusing the child and was sentenced to 37 1/2 years in prison.
It is believed that the infant, who is now 3 years old, is the child of a 16-year-old autistic boy Vanvlerah was accused of “seducing and having sex” with in 2008. The boy’s mother sought out a court order of protection.
The toddler is now with her adoptive mother, who says she still has night terrors.
“[She] is no longer Tessa’s plaything and she is no longer Tessa’s child,” her adoptive mother said.