Mary Kay Letourneau: Convicted of Felony Rape, Married Student Dies at 58

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Mary Kay Letourneau, the infamous teacher convicted of felony child rape case in 1997, dies at age 58; the former school teacher lost her battle with cancer on Monday (July 6). After serving a six and a half year prison sentence, for the said to be “consensual” relationship, with her sixth-grade student at the time, Vili Fualaau.

Shortly following her release in August 2004, Mary Kay Schmitz, at age 42, married Vili Fualaau, who had just turned 21. While imprisoned, she divorced her husband Steve Letourneau in 1999 and then became Mary Kay Fualaau. Prior to serving her prison sentence, she was given a chance; with an extreme plea agreement from a judge and a light sentence of six months; all but three months were suspended. That not only required her not to have any contact with Vili, but she also couldn’t have any contact with minors at all, not even her own children. However, she agreed.

Not to mention the fact that she gave birth to the young descendants’ first child, before serving the first sentence and went on to birth his second child whilst serving her second sentence. During her release, regardless of the judge’s orders, she and Vili continued to meet.

When they were caught in a parked car in the middle of the night by police officers, the judge revoked her plea agreement. Which led her to serve the maximum sentence of six and a half years. Mary Kay Letourneau, born Mary Katherine Schmitz was married, with four children at the occurrence of the entanglement. Reports from acquaintances said her marriage struggled financially, and with infidelity, from both sides. Neglect and both physical and emotional abuse took place and Mary Kay was left hospitalized twice.

Continuous complications, hence the other extramarital affairs before Vili, what led Mary Kay to take and her relationship with Vili from platonic to sexual?

“She found the man of her dreams, but he was 13.” said her lawyer David Gehrke. Fualaau was said to be ‘not your typical child’.  One of his other teachers described Fualaau, as though he “was like an old soul trapped in a child’s body.” They all agreed that “He stood out.”

Letourneau saw something in him, he was deemed special and she kept the focus on him from the first time they met when he was in her second grade class. Being so artistically gifted; “They shared similar interests.”, so she said. She also stated, “I felt that one day he might marry my daughter.”. Their bond was “instantaneous”, they grew very close over time. Without a doubt, they became widely known, internationally, and even co-authored a book during her time in prison. Titled ‘Only One Crime, Love’, but was published in France in October 1998.

She later went on to publish another book, solely, titled If Loving You Is Wrong, which was published in The United States in 1999. After years of being the highlight of the news and other media outlets, the chaos settled. Vili was finally legal, and able to make his own decisions. They were married for 15 years (2004-2019). Surrounded by her children and Vili, Mary Kay transitioned.

Written by Doneisha Jackson

Edited by Sheena Robertson


Irish Times: 13-year-old pupil was the ‘man of her dreams’

The New York Times: Mary Kay Letourneau, Teacher Who Raped Student and Then Married Him, Dies at 58

People: Mary Kay Letourneau ‘Made Peace with Vili,’ First Husband Before She Died, Says Source

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Pablo Romeo’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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