Mary Kay Letourneau, the elementary school teacher who was convicted in 1996 of raping her sixth-grade student before ultimately marrying him years later, became combative in a recent TV interview, saying that it “doesn’t matter” how she and her husband met.
Appearing on Sunday Night on Australia’s Channel 7, Letourneau bristled as she defended her relationship.
Reporter Matt Doran pointed out that Letourneau’s relationship with husband Vili Fualaau began when she was 34 and he was 12. Doran asked Letourneau if entering the relationship was the right thing to do. “You know what, I’m not going to continue with you trying to have me answer that question,” Letourneau replied. “I did my best every single day and I live that way and I did. And in that situation, it doesn’t even matter.”
At another point, Letourneau snapped at Doran: “Don’t go, ‘Oh, come on Mary,'” she tells him.
“You were a teacher, Mary,” he responded. “You can’t say ‘I was immature.'”
“Doesn’t matter,” she replied. “You don’t know our story, but we do.”
Letourneau was arrested after the sexual relationship came to light. Following a guilty plea for felony second-degree rape of a child, Letourneau was sentenced to six months behind bars, with three months suspended, and told to have no contact with Fualaau for life. But upon her release, she was re-arrested when she was caught having sex with him, again, in a car.
Letourneau was sent back to prison and was released in 2004. Ultimately, she was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years behind bars in connection with their relationship and remains a registered sex offender in Washington state.
She twice became pregnant with Fualaau’s child when he was underage. The couple eventually married and raised their two daughters together.
At another point, Doran asked Letourneau if she should have known better because she was the adult in the situation. “You can say that,” Letourneau replied, “but you don’t know him.”
“I don’t need to know him in this discussion,” Doran said incredulously. “He’s the child,”
Letourneau turned to Fualaau, “Who was the boss?” she asked him. “Who was the boss? Who was the boss back then?”
“This is ridiculous,” replied Fualaau. “This is getting weird. I was the pursuer.”
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The tense exchange came after Letourneau said that she “did not know” that her actions were wrong.
“If someone had told me, if anyone had told me, there is a specific law that says this is a crime I did not know,” she told the show. “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.”
When Doran asked if she was wrongly convicted, Letourneau replied, “absolutely.”
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Fualaau filed for legal separation from Letourneau last year, but the couple reconciled earlier this year.
In the interview, Letourneau said she’s hoping to be removed from the sex offender registry.
Letourneau is now a paralegal at the same court where she faced trial 21 years ago. Fualaau has worked in a home improvement store and as a part-time DJ.