Father and daughter arraigned Multiple charges in the case of WNY infants found in airshaft
by : Jessica Rosero
Oct 04, 2005 | 663 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lucila Ventura, 18, and her father Jose Julio Ventura, 44, were arraigned on Sept. 16 on multiple charges regarding Ventura's two infant children who were discovered in an airshaft of their West New York apartment building.

Ventura, who allegedly discarded her surviving newborn son down the shaft a week ago Tuesday, has been charged with attempted murder, child abuse, and child endangerment.

Because police discovered the year-old mummified body of her infant daughter a day later in the shaft, Ventura is also facing charges as a juvenile in connection with the homicide.

The 18-year-old's father, Jose Julio Ventura, has been identified as the alleged father of the infants, and has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and child abuse against his daughter.

"We don't have DNA results yet, and we won't have that for a number of weeks, but there is other information that leads us to believe that he is the father of the babies," said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio. "The results will just be a confirmation of the existing evidence."

Ventura has since been taken to Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, where he is being held on $500,000 bail.

Lucila Ventura has been taken to the Ann Klein Forensic Center in Mercer County for psychological evaluation.

Allegations and incest On Tuesday, Sept. 13, West New York Police answered a call from residents claiming they had heard a baby's cries from somewhere in the building at 305 64th St. Police discovered a discarded newborn baby boy on top of a mound of empty cigarette cartons at the bottom of an abandoned airshaft.

The infant was immediately rushed to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was treated for a linear fracture to the skull and remains in good condition at the hospital.

The year-old body of the mummified baby girl was also identified as Ventura's child. That baby died of blunt force trauma, police said.

When the second baby was identified, the girl brought out accusations of sexual abuse against her father Jose Julio Ventura, DeFazio said.

DeFazio said she may have been abused since the age of 13.

Legal action DeFazio said that if Jose Julio Ventura is convicted on the aggravated sex assault charges alone, he is facing 20 years in state prison.

Lucila Ventura, who appeared at the Central Judicial Processing Court on Sept. 16, is currently the only one being charged in the attempted murder of Baby Boy Ventura and the murder of the baby girl.

"As of now, she is the only one charged [in those incidents], but investigation is continuing," said DeFazio.

According to DeFazio, the most serious charge against Lucila Ventura is attempted murder due to the fact that she was an adult at the time of the alleged incident. She could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Since Ventura was 17 at the time of the alleged murder of her baby girl a year earlier, she will be tried as a juvenile in family court.

"The ultimate disposition on the charges against Lucila will [largely] depend upon the results of the psychological and/or psychiatric examinations, which are going to take an extended periods of time," said DeFazio.

As of now, there is no specific court date set for either of the accused.

Baby in hands of DYFS Baby Boy Ventura is currently still at the Jersey City Medical Center, where he has remained in good condition and under the custody of the Division of Youth and Family Services.

What is unclear is the boy's future.

"Ultimately custody has to be approved by the family court with our input," said Andy Williams, spokesman for Division of Youth and Family Services. "In a case like this, we would certainly have to consider the child's best interest. Family members would definitely be considered, but that is not always the case. The child could also go to foster care. At this point it's premature to say what the long-term goal would be."
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