Dad Charged with Rape In Abandoned Baby Case
(West New York, N.J. -WABC, Sept. 16, 2005) (WABC) -- It's a case that began as an abandoned baby investigation and has turned into something more sinister. Police have arrested the father of the 18-year-old accused of throwing her two newborns down an airshaft and charged him with aggravated rape.
Marcus Solis live on the scene in West New York with more.
Initially the teen claimed the babies had been fathered by two separate men but prosecutors now say she admits to years of sexual abuse by her father, who has since been arrested.
The teen is still charged with murder and attempted murder but her lawyer says this changes everything.
She appeared in court as a defendant, though prosecutors now say Lucila Ventura is a victim as well. Ventura was arrested Tuesday after police say she threw her newborn son down an airshaft of her West New York building.
It was then investigators found the mummified remains of a girl the 18-year-old had delivered a year-and-a-half ago. Today prosecutors charged her father - Jose Ventura - with aggravated sexual assault against his daughter, and say he is the father of the two babies.
Anthony Fusco, Lucila Ventura's Attorney: "We are now learning that this abuse may have started to occur when she was 13 or 14 years-old and continued on multiple occasions each week for years."
An investigation is still underway to determine if the teen acted alone or if her father knew or helped her dispose of the infants.
Ventura will undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Her lawyer says she's suffering from postpartum depression as well as effects of years of abuse, which he says no one else in the family knew about.
Anthony Fusco: "The father and Ms. Ventura has indicated no one else know about it, so the pressure on that young girl had to be immeasurable."
Lucila Ventura is being held on $250,000 bail, her father on $500,000 bail. She will be transferred to a state psychiatric facility for evaluation. That should happen by Monday.
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