She pleaded guilty to charges of incest, statutory sodomy, and statuary rape in January.
Vanvlerah, 22, was arrested in 2010 along with Kenneth Kyle, a California State University East Bay professor, for child pornography. He came to the attention of authorities after sharing child pornography online. Investigators found child porn images on the 49-year-old man's computer.
Investigators also discovered that Kyle had visited Vanvlerah in St. Louis, Missouri, four times in five months after meeting online, reported the Associated Press. Evidence found showed the pair had sex with the infant and each other at various hotels during those visits.
Forensic psychologist Dr. Brooke Kraushaar testified at Vanvlerah's hearing on her behalf. Kraushaar said Vanvlerah was a passive offender and had dependent-personality disorder that made her give into Kyle's perverted sexual fantasies, even though she knew it was wrong.
Kraushaar said Vanvlerah had such an intense fear of being rejected that she allowed Kyle to choke, burn, and urinate on her.
Vanvlerah's attorney's asked that she be allowed to get probation because of her psychological disorder, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Kraushaar believes that a prison sentence would put Vanvlerah at risk for more trouble because of the dominant personalities there.
However the prosecution brought up Vanvlerah's dalliances with other men as reason for a life in prison sentence.
Assistant prosecutor Kathi Alizadeh said Vanvlerah exercised free will when she communicated with another man on the internet, even though she refused to engage in bestiality as he requested. However Vanvlerah did carve his nickname Lord Nikon into her arm.
Alizadeh also pointed out that Vanvlerah had exchanged child porn with another man from Missouri. She was planning on having him come visit her in St. Louis and have sex with the infant. Those plans never came to fruition.
Alizadeh said Vanvlerah became pregnant at 18 after seducing and having sex with a 16-year-old autistic teen. The teen's mother obtained a court order of protection against Vanvlerah in 2008. The Riverfront Times reported that Vanvlerah bragged about the affair and subsequent pregnancy online.
Federal prosecutors also accused Kyle and Vanvlerah of producing child pornography, reported the Riverfront Times.
Kyle pleaded guilty to federal child sexual abuse charges in March. He was sentenced to 37 ½ years in prison.
Vanvlerah lost custody of her child in April 2010 after being charged with first degree statutory rape and sodomy.
Her daughter, now 3, has been placed in a foster home.
The child's adoptive mother said the child would scream if anyone tried to bath her or change her diaper. The little girl is improving, but she still has night terrors and asks that no one comes into her room at night. The adoptive mother said the child is no longer Tessa's plaything and she is no longer Tessa's child, reported the Associated Press.