Mary Kay Letourneau, teacher convicted of raping student, dead at 58

BURIEN, Wash. — Mary Kay Letourneau, a Washington state teacher convicted of raping a 12-year-old student 23 years ago and later marrying him, died of cancer Monday, her attorney said.

Attorney David Gehrke said Letourneau was 58.

Letourneau was teaching at Shorewood Elementary School in Burien when she raped her sixth-grade student, Vili Fualaau, in June 1996, KIRO-TV reported.

Police discovered Letourneau and Fualaau, then 12, in a minivan parked at the Des Moines Marina. Letourneau said the boy was 18. The two were taken to a police station and later released. At that time, Letourneau was a married 34-year-old mother of four.

On Feb. 25, 1997, following a tip, police interviewed Fualaau. Letourneau was pulled out of a teacher’s meeting and arrested for statutory rape.

In August 1997, in an agreement with prosecutors, Letourneau pleaded guilty to child rape in exchange for a 3-month jail sentence and probation. Judge Linda Lau accepted the deal on condition that Letourneau have no contact with Fualaau. By that time, Letourneau had given birth to a girl fathered by Fualaau.

Letourneau and Fualaau were married in Woodinville on May 20, 2005. after she was released from prison. At that time, Letourneau was 43 and Fualaau was 22.

Fualaau filed for separation in 2017, and a divorce was finalized last year.

The couple had two children together.

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