Now the Memorial High School student, who has been held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, will be facing seven years in a maximum-security prison after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated assault and manslaughter Tuesday.
"It's for manslaughter in the death of the first baby, and the aggravated assault charge due to the second incident with Baby Boy Ventura," said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio. "85 percent of the sentence she receives will be without parole eligibility."
She also waived her right to be charged as a juvenile in the death of her daughter.
Making a deal
Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Mike D'Andrea, who has been handling this case, stated, "[The sentence] was part of her plea allocution; It's a very sordid set of circumstances."
Ventura made a plea bargain with prosecutors in exchange for her cooperation in the pending prosecution of her father Jose Ventura, the alleged father of the discarded infants.
Baby Boy Ventura was miraculously unharmed and taken into the custody of the Division of Youth and Family Services. There was also a baby girl whose mummified corpse was discovered the day after the boy was rescued.
"She was saying that [her father] made statements to her that encouraged the actions of the throwing the newborn babies out the third floor window," said DeFazio. "We plan to proceed with the prosecution with Mr. Ventura, which will take its course, and it's difficult to say when that matter will come to a close."
During her court testimony on Tuesday, Ventura stated that she had thrown her newborn children down the airshaft under the direction of her father, who was present at both births in the family's apartment, according to D'Andrea.
"She said her father was sexually assaulting her from the time she was 14, and as a result she conceived a child and gave birth in the bathroom to a baby girl [in Sept. 2003]," said D'Andrea. "She cut the umbilical and [Jose Ventura] [allegedly] ordered her to throw the baby out the window; the sexual abuse continued, and she conceived again. Again her father was present [at the birth] and [allegedly] ordered her to throw it out the window."
D'Andrea said, "Baby boy Ventura has been named David, and is living with a very caring and loving family in an undisclosed location."
Jose Ventura, who pleaded not guilty at his September arraignment, was indicted on several charges of aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and child abuse. With the testimony of his daughter, the Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor has recommended that additional charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault be brought up against the father.
The grand jury's decision won't be made for several weeks.
Lucila Ventura is to be sentenced on July 6 before Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan, but the date might be adjourned in order for her to testify in the prosecution of her father.
According to D' Andrea, the receiving institution will be also be required to provide Ventura with appropriate mental health care.