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Mary Kay Letourneau, Known for Marrying Boy She Raped, Has Died

Illustration for article titled Mary Kay Letourneau, Known for Marrying Boy She Raped, Has Died
Image: AP Photo/Alan Berner, Pool (AP)

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.


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trlrgrl (2)

This whole case was train-wreck TV at it finest back then, and I can’t believe the access they both gave the media when it came out. They did interviews together, they talked about how in love they’s unbelievable.

He was absolutely convinced (brainwashed) that he was in love with her, and the story was almost treated like some Romeo and Juliette type thing. It was so weird and wrong. I think back then, you just never, ever heard of a woman raping a young it was framed like it was every boys dream of sleeping with their teacher.

You watch the interviews now, and she clearly isn’t right....there is something way off about her. And he was totally and tragically caught up in the whole thing. The thing that made it even more complicated was that there was kids involved, so in a very weird way people almost wanted it to work out for them.

You think back and my god....he was TWELVE. 6th grade. Thank God the conversation and thought process has changed.