Mary Kay Letourneau was sentenced to seven years in prison for raping Vili Fualaau

By Steve Helling
May 11, 2020 02:17 PM
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Vili Fualaau is back in the dating pool — and according to a source close to the former student of Mary Kay Letourneau's, he's looking for someone more age-appropriate.

"He wouldn't mind finding a woman his own age or even younger," the source tells PEOPLE. "Maybe someone around 30. Someone who he has something in common with."

Months after the legal separation between Letourneau and Fualaau, both husband and wife are hoping to move on -- and trying to put their controversial relationship behind them.

The couple’s relationship began when Fualaau was just 12 years old and Letourneau was his sixth-grade teacher. They soon began to have sex. Ultimately, she was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for child rape in connection with their relationship. She twice became pregnant with Fualaau’s children before he was 15, despite court orders aimed at keeping them apart.

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By the time she was released from prison, Fualaau was an adult — and he petitioned the court to allow them to see each other. A restraining order against Letourneau was dropped, but Letourneau remains a registered sex offender in Washington state.

The couple married in 2005, despite the criminal history of their relationship.

"It was a f---ed up start to their relationship," the insider told PEOPLE last week. "But now he's starting to get some perspective. He sees things clearly now, and realizes that this wasn't a healthy relationship from the start."

The couple headed for a split in 2017, after Fualaau filed for legal separation. Despite several reconciliation attempts since then, the case moved to private arbitration in February 2019. The separation became official late last year.

She is now 58; he is 36.

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Even after the split, Letourneau and Fualaau still lived together. They were occasionally spotted out in the Seattle area. They both remain active in the lives of their two daughters, Georgia and Audrey.

The couple now lives separately and are both on dating apps, looking for new love.

"After the split, he started really going over things in his mind," the insider told PEOPLE last week. "Just thinking about how they met, and how that affected how they interacted as adults. He was never really a full-fledged partner; he was always secondary. He sees that now."

"It shouldn't surprise anyone," the insider continued, "but he's feeling that for the first time, he's being like a real grown adult. That feels good for him."