What happens to a woman when she finds the man of her dreams, only he is a child? And if the woman is his teacher? American parents cringed at the story of Mary Kay Letourneau, who first met Vili Fualaau when she was his teacher in second grade. He did not start flirting with her until he was in sixth. She started to have sex with him the next year, when he was 13. Already the mother of four from a marriage that was disintegrating, she would bear the teenager's daughter, but not before she ended up in prison on rape and molestation charges. She would then violate the rules for the suspension of her sentence by seeing him again and becoming pregnant again. Letourneau's beauty and struggles with manic depression made her illicit affair the fodder of tabloids and women's magazines around the world. But there was something touching, if maddening, about her refusal to renounce her love for the boy at the cost of her freedom. In 1998, after giving birth to her second child with Fualaau, she began serving a seven-year prison sentence. Released on parole in August 2004, she quickly married her young lover, who by then had turned 21.
From the Archive:
A Matter of Hearts