Loading articles...

Mary Kay Letourneau, former Seattle teacher jailed for raping student, dies

Last Updated Jul 8, 2020 at 9:32 am PDT

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 1998, file photo, Mary Kay Letourneau listens to testimony during a court hearing in Seattle Letourneau, who married her former sixth-grade student after she was convicted for raping him, has died. She was 58. Her lawyer David Gehrke told news outlets Letourneau died Tuesday, July 7, 2020, of cancer. The former suburban Seattle teacher was arrested in 1997 after she became pregnant with Vili Fualaau's child. She later pleaded guilty to second-degree child rape. (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool, File)

SEATTLE — Mary Kay Letourneau, who married her former sixth-grade student after she was convicted for raping him, 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 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.