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CLAYTON, MO – Tessa L. Vanvlerah, 22, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty in January to incest, statutory sodomy, and statutory rape in several attacks against her daughter.  A judge recently handed her two consecutive life sentences, rejecting her lawyers’ claim that she suffers from dependent-personality psychological disorder.

It all started back in 2009, when Vanvlerah met California State University East Bay professor Kenneth Kyle, 49, online.  On at least four occasions, Kyle visited Vanvlerah in St. Louis hotels to have sex with her and her daughter.

The daughter was just 5 months old at the time of the first attack, and 10 months old at the time of the last one.  Vanvlerah says she knew the attacks on her daughter were wrong, and though she inexplicably didn’t draw a line at participating in the rape of her own child, she did refuse to engage with Kyle in acts of bestiality.  Let me go scrounge up a medal for you, Tessa.

Kyle was arrested back in 2010 on unrelated child pornography charges.  On his computer, along with hundreds of pictures of children engaged in various sex acts, police found information that led them to Vanvlerah.  She was also arrested shortly after Kyle’s apprehension.  Kyle pleaded guilty to the abuse and was subsequently sentenced in March to 37-1/2 years in prison.

Kenneth Kyle

Forensic psychologist Dr. Brooke Kraushaar testified at Vanvlerah’s sentencing that she was a “passive offender,” lacking the self-assurance to stand up for herself or her daughter.  She said Vanvlerah was so afraid of being rejected by others that she also allowed Kyle to choke, burn and urinate on her.

He was also able to convince her to carve her nickname for him, “Lord Nikon,” into her skin.  I have a hard time buying the defense though, as did the judge, since she seemed to be able to summon the strength to refuse to engage in bestiality with Kyle.

Plus, aside from her involvement with Kyle, she was also engaged in arrangements with another man in Avon, MO to visit her and have sex with the girl.  Fortunately, those plans were never realized.

I’ll bet you’re wondering how such a catch managed to get herself pregnant in the first place.  I’m glad you asked.  Back in 2008, when Vanvlerah was 18, another woman obtained an order of protection against her, accusing her of seducing and having sex with her 16-year-old autistic son.  Vanvlerah’s daughter is believed to be a product of that very relationship.

As for the child victim in all of this, she is doing much better.  She’s now three years old and has been adopted.  And though she used to scream every time someone tried to bathe her or change her diaper, she’s making progress.  She still has night terrors and asks, each night, to be assured that no one else will be allowed to enter her home.

Somehow, I’m doubting she’ll grow up and ever attempt to contact her birth mother.

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