BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOV) – The mother of a Ballwin woman, who was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for participating in the rape of her own infant, says there were signs her grandchild was in trouble.
Tessa Vanvlerah, 22, was in her late teens when she met a college professor more than twice her age online. Martha Bradshaw, Vanvlerah’s mother, tells News 4 she regrets not noticing the warning signs of what was a destructive, unhealthy relationship.
“This man (Kenneth Kyle) is evil,” Bradshaw said. “He educated himself to succeed at his perversions. Tess was the perfect victim.”
Bradshaw says she did not know anything about Kyle until neighbors informed her that the older man had visited her home while she was at work.
“I confronted my daughter with it and she told me that it was a friend of hers that had come to visit her. They were just friends, but she did assure me that she would not see him anymore,” Bradshaw said.
On at least four occasions the pair sexually abused Vanvlerah’s five-month-old infant, according to authorities.
Vanvlerah suffers from low self-esteem and has problems developing healthy relationships which allowed Kyle to take advantage, according to Bradshaw.
Bradshaw hopes her experience will serve as an alert to all parents about internet dating.
“They need to monitor, monitor, monitor everything your child is doing on the internet,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t care -- my daughter was 19-years-old when this happened. She was living under my roof. She was an adult. I felt that I did not have the right to invade her privacy that way. That was my biggest mistake.”
“A person that goes around and molests children – that is not my daughter. It never was.”