The former Washington state teacher Mary Kay Letourneau who married her former sixth-grade student after she was convicted in 1997 of raping him in a case that drew international headlines, has died. She was 58
Her lawyer David Gehrke told multiple news outlets Letourneau died Tuesday of cancer. He did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press.
Letourneau lost a battle with cancer, her attorney, David Gehrke, said. Letourneau was a former Highline teacher who passed away after being ill for some time. She was 58.
“It was expected but sad anyway,” Gehrke said. “She was a good person.“
Letourneau was a married mother of four having difficulties with her marriage in 1996 when Vili Fualaau was a precocious 12-year-old in Letourneau’s class at Shorewood Elementary in Burien, a south Seattle suburb.
At about 1:20 a.m. on June 19, 1996, police discovered them in a minivan parked at the Des Moines Marina.
Letourneau, then 34, initially told officers the boy was 18, raising suspicions that something sexual was going on. But back at the police station, Fualaau and Letourneau denied there had been any “touching.” Instead, they said, Letourneau had been babysitting the boy and took him from her home after she and her husband had a fight.
About two months after the marina incident, Letourneau became pregnant with the couple’s first daughter. Their second child was conceived in 1998, after Letourneau had pleaded guilty to child rape and received a 7 1/2-year prison term, which was suspended on condition she have no contact with Fualaau.
Letourneau and Fualaau married on May 20, 2005, in Woodinville, Washington, after she finished serving time in prison.
Fualaau and Letourneau had previously characterized their relationship as one of love, and even wrote a book together — “Un Seul Crime, L’Amour,” or “Only One Crime, Love.” Their story was also the subject of a USA Network movie, “All American Girl.”
King County court records show Fualaau asked the court for a legal separation from Letourneau on May 9, 2017.