Mary Kay Letourneau Marries Boy She Raped

Former schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau has married Vili Fualaau, for whom she served prison time for child rape and with whom she has already had tw children. The BBC headline is incredibly succinct:

US teacher marries boy she raped (BBC)

A former US schoolteacher has married an ex-pupil 10 years after she raped him when he was just 12. Mary Kay Letourneau, 43, and Vili Fualaau married in a secret ceremony on Friday near Seattle.

Ms Letourneau was arrested in 1997 when pregnant with the couple’s first child and admitted second-degree child rape. She was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ jail, most of it suspended. She had to serve the full term after she was caught having sex with Mr Fualaau.

She was released last August after having given birth to the couple’s second daughter in jail.

This is one of the creepier stories that has been in and out of the pop culture in recent years. Certainly, too, this story would have been received radically differently if the genders were reversed. A male teacher having sex with a 12-year-old student and getting her pregnant would be absolutely villified–and likely still in jail.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Spaceman says:

    How touching!

  2. Chris Short says:

    2 is spelt two… Not tw.

    Does your editor work for Newsweek or CBS?

  3. Just Me says:

    I agree with the creepier description completely. I can’t speak for all women, but when I see a 13 year old boy, I do not think potential sex partner.

  4. ozzippit says:

    The late Sen. Moynihan’s definition of “dumbing down” certainly applies to deviance, too. And the term “diversity” has come to include “deviance.” “Anything Goes” is more than just a song title now-a-days.

  5. Eneils Bailey says:

    These two losers have this synergy thing going on here. Just think of it, a luv union here produces a much bigger loser situation than they could ever attain individually. Think of the adverse affect they have had on lives so far. Her family, husband and legal children, the two bastards brought forth between MKL and VF. I wonder if they have more children in future; what will be thier fate?

  6. maggie says:

    yes, i believe, as you suggest, that the story would have been received differently if the genders were reversed.
    one very obvious way in which it would be different is that the twelve year old victim would be the one enduring pregnancy and childbirth.
    this, to me, seems a rather compelling argument that the situation could not truly be reversed; by reversing the character genders, the dynamics are altered.

  7. Its so nasty

  8. Rachel says:

    Ok…….. I’m getting really sick and tired of people critizing Mary and Vili. Just because they had sex, doesn’t mean anything more. Age don’t count…… also….. it is their business whether they get marry or not. it is not a rape because there was no force. just because it is a rape cuz of the age. We all say that age don’t matter. yes, it is sick but love is very powerful that no one can describe. Now that they are married…. we should leave them alone. thank you.

  9. Diego Calut says:

    With Mary Kay and Vili’s marriage this charade has gone a bit too far. I can certainly understand her need for a “man” at the time of the “rape” and I most certainly understand his attraction to a “woman” when he was twelve or thirteen.
    But we should thread very carefully on the complex emotional and sexual relationship that developed from there on as some very high-minded but naive or hypocritical comments have been made.
    It is conceivable that much less harm would have befell all inocent parties involved if Law and Order would have been left out of the picture and some human experience and common sense prevailed, as Vili’s mother seem to personify. To me it is quite obvious that no one with a somewhat comparable experience has had the guts to share it and, being “compos mentis” at 53 years of age, I qualify to speak thereof:
    When I was fourteen I got sexually and emotionally involved with a teacher eleven years older than me. I may have been appropriately naive for my age and may have misinterpreted N’s interest in me, but I’ve always felt fortunate to have had her in my life.
    Important as it is to have had a good sexual initiation, I’ve always counted the mind opening and maturing that N brought to my life as the highlight of our relationship.
    It was carried in a dignified manner and since it was of the older woman – young boy persuasion it was clearly not forced upon me, far from it!
    I lament that the development of the MKL-VF life story has been so profoundly influenced by nosy, meddlesome do-gooders and profiteers instead of been allowed to run its course without undue public scrutiny.
    For this marriage seems to be a product of such unconscious meddling, a statement of defiance, and as such a bad omen to its success. For the couple’s sake I hope to be proved wrong, but I won’t hold my breath.
    May I suggest that the surfeit of righteous indignation and mostly shallow peroration generated by this affair may be due to an actual lack of experience and/or envy at having missed out a truly grand experience?
    For the older woman – young, sexually developed boy liaison is radically different than the older man – nubile girl one, in all aspects, and should not be lumped together.
    In closing I’d like for the reader, regardless of his/her own sex, to ponder on the older man – sexually active, precocious young girl relationship. It may make you feel mightily uncomfortable !