Mary Kay Letourneau, the former Seattle teacher who was convicted in 1997 of raping a 12-year-old student who she would later marry, died on Tuesday from cancer, her lawyer told Q13 News.
David Gehrke, the attorney, told the news station that she suffered from cancer for about nine months.
Letourneau pleaded guilty in August 1997 to two counts of second-degree rape with a student who was 13 at the time. (She was 34, married and had four children.) She later married the student, Vili Fualaau in 2005—after serving her seven-year prison sentence. He was 22. They had two children and Faulaau filed for legal separation in 2017, the Q 13 Fox report said.
She knew her actions were wrong morally and professionally but took the risks in part because of her diagnosed “hypomania,″ a type of bipolar depression, Gehrke told local media.
Police discovered the two at about 1:20 a.m. on June 19, 1996 in a minivan. Letourneau told officers the boy was 18, raising suspicions among the officers. 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.
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The two 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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report