Mary Kay Letourneau, a former teacher who was convicted of raping a 12-year-old student who she later married, has died. She was 58.
NBC News reports that Letourneau’s attorney, David Gehrke, confirmed her death on Tuesday, attributing it to cancer.
Letourneau was a 34-year-old teacher in Seattle when she started raping 12-year-old sixth grader Vili Fualaau, and in 1997, while pregnant with Fualaau’s child, she pled guilty to two counts of second degree rape of a minor. She was paroled after six months in prison, but served an additional seven years after she was caught with Fualaau after her release, violating the terms of her sentence. Letourneau gave birth to another one of Fualaau’s children in prison, and in 2005, after her release, they married. They legally separated in 2019.
The Letourneau case is infamous and often a source of mockery. But it also called attention to sexual abuse by women, which is often overlooked in conversations about rape and assault. Letourneau died a registered sex offender in Washington State.
Letourneau leaves behind six children, including four from a previous marriage.