Mary Kay Letourneau, Seattle teacher jailed for raping student she later married, dies of cancer

Nation/World

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.

Gehrke told CNN she passed surrounded by family, including her former student and ex-husband who gave her 24-hour care the last month of her life.

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.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Fualaau’s age at the time of the rape. This post has been updated.

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