Pupil raped by teacher: ‘I love her’

And then the big dummy didn’t even finish high school.

Mary Letourneau released from prison after seven years
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 Posted: 9:10 PM EDT (0110 GMT)

GIG HARBOR, Washington (CNN)—A former elementary school teacher convicted of raping a sixth-grade pupil was released from prison Wednesday, and within hours her victim petitioned the court to lift the no-contact order between them, saying he still loves her.

Mary K. Letourneau, who was a 35-year-old married mother of four, pleaded guilty in 1997 to having sexual relations with 13-year-old Vili Fualaau, now 21.

She served a seven-year sentence at the Washington Corrections Center for Women after failing to stay away from the teen. Letourneau has two daughters by Fualaau.

Fualaau’s attorney filed a motion Wednesday to lift a King County Superior Court order barring contact between him and Letourneau.

The prosecutor’s office said it was deciding whether to ask for a hearing.

Upon Letourneau’s release, Fualaau said, “I’m kind of nervous. I don’t know what my feelings are right now. But I do know I love her.”

Letourneau, now 42, slipped out of prison before dawn to avoid the media glare. Young men also stood outside the prison gate holding signs that read “I’m 18” and “Take me baby.”

As a sex offender, Letourneau will have to register with the state and receive court-ordered treatment.

Author Gregg Olsen has been following the case since writing about it in his 1999 book, “If Loving You Is Wrong” (St. Martin’s).

Fualaau, pictured here in 2002, says he still loves the mother of his children.
“So many people see this as a love story and want to see them together,” Olsen said. “I do want to remind people that he was 12 and 13 years old when this thing happened, and his life has been profoundly impacted by what she did.”

During their initial relationship, the teacher and student had liaisons in the school gym and a classroom.

When Letourneau was first arrested, she already was pregnant with Fualaau’s daughter. A judge sentenced her to six months in jail for rape and ordered her to stay away from Fualaau.

She had begged the judge to give her a second chance.

“Your honor, I did something that I had no right to do, morally or legally. It was wrong and I am sorry. I give you my word that it will not happen again. Please, please help me,” she said.

But within about a month, she was discovered having sex with Fualaau in a van, with $6,000 in their possession.

The couple’s daughters, ages 5 and 7, live with Fualaau’s mother, and he mostly lives with family friends. Letourneau’s four older children live with her former husband in Alaska, The Associated Press reported.

Fualaau is unemployed and did not finish high school.

Olsen said he met with Fualaau three weeks ago and found him mature following such a troubling past.

“Everything bad that could happen to a teenage boy, which is what he was at the time, happened to him,” Olsen said.

Posted by SPN on 08/06 at 04:33 AM in Blogging

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