Ex-Teacher 'Didn't Know' Sex With Student Was a Crime

Letourneau thinks she was wrongfully imprisoned for sex with 12-year-old
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2018 2:52 AM CDT
Updated Sep 24, 2018 6:11 AM CDT
In this Feb. 6 1998 photo Mary Kay Letourneau listens to testimony during a court hearing in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Alan Berner, Pool. File)
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(Newser) – Mary Kay Letourneau now works as a paralegal, but the former Seattle schoolteacher apparently didn't know much about law in the 1990s. She told an Australian TV station Sunday that when she had sex with 12-year-old student Vili Fualaau, she had no idea it was a crime, Fox reports. "If someone had told me, if anyone had told me, there is a specific law that says this is a crime," she told Channel Seven. "I did not know. I've said this over and over again. Had I’d known, if anyone knows my personality. Just the idea, this would count as a crime." Letourneau, who served more than seven years in prison and married Fualaau after her release in 2005, said she "absolutely felt wrongfully convicted." She is trying to get her name removed from the sex offenders' register.

After interviewer Matt Doran tried to get her to admit that she "should have known better," the former teacher, who is 22 years older than Fualaau, said he was the one who pursued her and had been "the boss" back then, news.com.au reports. Letourneau—who was living with her husband and four children when the affair with Fualaau began—has two daughters with her former student, one born after her initial arrest and one born while she was in prison. The elder daughter, 21-year-old Audrey, told the station that their upbringing didn't feel strange. "It's kind of surprising to people but it's normal for us because we've adapted to it," she said. (Fualaau filed for legal separation last year, but the filing was later withdrawn.)

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