Fmr. teacher convicted of child rape, Mary Kay Letourneau, dead at 58

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Mary Kay Letourneau, the Seattle teacher who raped a 13-year-old student and later married him after serving seven years in prison, died of cancer Monday.

Her attorney, David Gehrke, said Letourneau, 58,  had been battling stage four cancer.

“It was expected but sad anyway,” Gehrke said, according to KOMO News. “She was a good person.“

The ABC affiliate characterized the couple’s relationship as “an affair” in reporting on her death.

Letourneau was 34 when she began a sexual relationship with Vili Fualaau in 1996, who was 12-years-old.

The former teacher had two children with Fualaau before he turned 15.

She pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree child rape and had their first child while awaiting sentence. After serving three months of a reduced sentence in prison, she defied court orders to stay away from the child, which resulted in the seven-year sentence.

Letourneau gave birth to their second child in 1998, shortly after going to prison.

The couple married in 2005 after she was released from prison — the court ordered Letourneau to have no contact with Fualaau, who was then 21, but he fought to have the order removed.

The relationship did not last, as they divorced in 2019.

Lost in the sensationalism of the story is that Letourneau effectively abandoned four children she had with her first husband at the time to pursue the relationship with the young boy.

Steve Letourneau, her first husband, divorced her while she was in prison.

Letourneau, who portrayed the relationship as forbidden love, was unapologetic for her actions.

“Am I sorry he’s the father of my children, and that we’re married and this is the man of my life? No, I am not,” she said in a 2018 A&E documentary.

For what it’s worth, Fualaau did not see himself as the victim of a sexual predator.

“I’m not a victim. I’m not ashamed of being a father. I’m not ashamed of being in love with Mary Kay,” he said in a 2013 Inside Edition interview.

While some tried to downplay Letourneau’s actions, the fact that she raped a young boy was not lost on others, even if they did eventually marry.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

 

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Tom Tillison

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