Mary Kay Letournaeu: Child Rapist, Normal Mother, Or Both?

When the scandal of Mary Kay Letourneau, a sixth grade teacher and her 12-year-old lover, broke the news approximately 20 years ago, the world was stunned. She seemed like a pretty, normal thirtysomething, a teacher married with four kids. How — and why — was she having sex with her 12-year-old student?

We still don’t have answers for that, other than what Letourneau says that Vili Faulaau, now her husband of ten years, “thought she was a celebrity” and she says she fell in love with him. Their relationship turned sexual while she was still married and he was still 12, under the guise that she was helping him with his school work. The first of many encounters took place in her van, and soon Mary Kay was pregnant with a baby that her husband suspected was not his. He was correct — but who fathered the baby shocked the world.

When the news broke, Letourneau was quickly brought to trial on charges of child rape. While out on parole, she gave birth to her and Vili’s daughter, Audrey, now 17-years-old, and became pregnant quickly with Georgia, who was born while Letourneau was behind bars and is now 16-years-old. Letourneau served seven-and-a-half years on charges of child rape while Faulaau and his mother cared for the two girls. Faulaau admits those were trying times.

“I didn’t have a whole lot of support from family or friends, raising these two girls. My friends wanted to help, but they didn’t know anymore than I knew, we were just 14 – 15 years old.”

Perhaps the biggest shocker of this whole story (as if there aren’t enough already) is that as soon as Letourneau was released from prison, she and Faulaau, now an adult, were wed in a typical wedding ceremony in front of 250 guests that included two of Letourneau’s children from her prior marriage. She appears to have some type of relationship with her first four children and grandchildren.

And yet, there’s more amazement to this story — the couple’s two daughters appear to be healthy, happy, completely normal teenage girls living in a completely normal family. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Vili admitted that there had been trying times in the marriage, but they were worth working through, and they have a perfectly ordinary family. The girls know about their parents’ outrageous past and how they came to be, but don’t seem to dwell on it much or think it too odd. Recently the four took a trip to New York City where the family appeared as happy and normal as any other American family.

What are your views on the Letourneau case? Share your thoughts.