Gravesend man who killed toddler sentenced to 15 years

April 2, 2019 Noah Goldberg
The scene outside the Gravesend home where Jaden Jordan was assaulted. Eagle file by Mark Mellone
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Salvatore Lucchesse was slapped with a 15-year sentence on Tuesday for killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old child in 2016, a case that sparked widespread condemnation of the city’s child protective services for failing to intervene.

“You took our joy. You took my joy,” said Laurie Jordan, the grandmother of infant victim Jaden Jordan, in Brooklyn Supreme Court. “You left a hole in our hearts that will never be filled,” she said.

Lucchesse, of Gravesend, was babysitting Jordan — his girlfriend’s son — on Nov. 28, 2016, while Jordan’s mother was at work.

Around 4:30 p.m., Emergency Medical Services arrived at the Gravesend home after Lucchesse called 911 to report the child was unconscious, according to prosecutors.

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Jordan was taken to the hospital, where he fell into a coma. Days later, he was taken off life support.

Child Services received “allegations of abuse and neglect” in Jordan’s household on Nov. 26, 2016 — two days before he was beaten into a coma.

The Office of the Medical Examiner determined that Jordan’s death was a homicide, finding the cause of death was “abusive head and neck trauma,” according to prosecutors.

“This was a senseless death of a helpless little boy who was left in the defendant’s care. There is no excuse ever, under any circumstances, for beating a child. Today’s sentence is a small measure of justice for Jaden and his devastated family,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

Lucchesse, who was originally charged with second-degree murder, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Lucchesse appeared Tuesday before Justice Deborah Dowling, his head hanging low. “I apologize for my part,” he said quietly before he was sentenced.

Jordan’s death led to an examination of the city’s Administration of Child Services.

ACS received “allegations of abuse and neglect” in Jordan’s household on Nov. 26, 2016 — two days before he was beaten into a coma, according to a 2017 Department of Investigation report summary.

The department found that Jordan’s case pointed out “high-level, systemic problems” at ACS.

“Despite ACS having the mandate, resources and information to urgently find Jaden, ACS did not find Jaden before he was allegedly beaten into a coma on Monday, November 28, 2016,” the summary reads.

DOI also found that ACS’s Emergency Children’s Services unit, which handles nights, weekends and holidays, was inadequately staffed and trained to handle situations like Jordan’s.

Jordan’s family, though, focused their ire on Lucchesse.

“I hope every silent moment you hear his singing and his laughter,” Jordan’s grandmother said through tears. “Only God can forgive you, I never will.”

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