Mary Kay Letourneau, who married her sixth grade student, died after being convicted of raping her
SEATTLE – Mary Kay Letourneau, a teacher who married her former sixth-grade student after he was convicted of raping her in a case that brought him to international headlines, has died. She was 58 years old.
Her lawyer, David Gerke, told several news outlets Letternue died Tuesday from cancer. He did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press.
Mary Kay Letourneau was a married mother of four in 1996 when she taught 12-year-old Willie Fualau to her class at Shorewood Elementary in Buryan, a south Seattle suburb.
On June 19, 1996, police discovered him in the minivan of Des Moines Marina at 1:20 pm.
Mary Kay Letourneau, then 34, initially told authorities that the boy was 18, raising suspicion that something sexual was going on. At the police station, Fualau and Leternue denied that anyone was “touching.” She claimed that Letternou was raising the boy’s child, and took her away from the house after her and her husband quarreled.
Nearly two months later, the evidence was undisputed: Letourneauwas pregnant. They had a daughter – and then, later, another one, conceived in 1998, to plead guilty to child rape after Letourneau, but before she was serving a 7 1/2-year prison sentence was.
Letourneau and Fualau married on May 20, 2005 in Woodinville, Washington after their release.
Fualau and Letourneau portrayed their relationship as love at one point, even writing a book together – “Un Sool Crime, Letourneau”, or “Only a Crime, Love.” Her story became the subject of a USA Network movie, “All American Girl”.
But it did not last a lifetime: King County court records asked Fualau for legal separation from Letourneauon May 9, 2017.
Fualau’s mother filed a multi-dollar lawsuit in the city and school district claiming to have failed to protect her son from the teacher. But the defendants said the relationship was so bizarre that no one could have guessed it. The district attorney said that it started from the school grounds after the academic year ended. Police argued that they had no evidence of sexual abuse until it was too late. A jury found against the family.
Seattle attorney Anne Bremer represented the police in that trial, and befriended Letourneau, visiting him in jail and meeting him for lunch after his release.
“She admitted that it was a crime and she had to give her time, but she wasn’t there when she got out,” Bremer said. “She grew up in a very positive way and raised those girls. He was someone for whom I was rooted. I really wanted to do her good, and she did.
As for Mary Kay Letourneau and Fualau’s relationship: “Everyone said it wouldn’t be the last, but it was for at least 20 years.”