Teacher who had sex with boy freed

Former student, now 21, challenges court order meant to keep them apart

August 05, 2004|By Tomas Alex Tizon | Tomas Alex Tizon,LOS ANGELES TIMES

SEATTLE - Mary Kay Letourneau, the former schoolteacher who had two children by the pre-teen student she was convicted of raping, quietly walked out of prison early yesterday.

After serving 7 1/2 years for child rape, Letourneau, 42, slipped unseen past the gathered international media representatives camped outside the Washington Corrections Center for Women about 24 miles southwest of Seattle. Despite her conviction, she has maintained that the relationship with her student was mutual love.

Her story has been told in books, tabloids, talk shows and a television movie. Letourneau and the former student, Vili Fualaau, now 21, wrote a book together, published in France, about what they called their eternal love affair.

As a condition of her release, Letourneau is prohibited from seeing or talking with Fualaau. But both have indicated they intend to resume contact and to raise their two young children together.

Early yesterday afternoon, Fualaau's attorney, N. Scott Stewart, filed a motion in King County Superior Court to dissolve the no-contact order.

The motion, in part, states that Fualaau "is now an adult and, as an adult, is requesting that the court allow him to associate with other adults of his own choosing, specifically Mary Kay Letourneau."

The prosecutor's office is reviewing the motion.

Letourneau is required to register as a sex offender, receive counseling and submit to state supervision. Authorities will notify neighbors wherever she settles.

A friend of Letourneau's, Anne Bremner, a Seattle lawyer who has had regular contact with her during her incarceration, described her as an exemplary inmate.

Bremner said Letourneau is considering work as a prisoner advocate, but her first priority will be to renew bonds with her six children - four with her ex-husband, who lives in Alaska, and the two daughters, 5 and 7, with Fualaau.

Letourneau said she would consider having more children with Fualaau.

"If we are so blessed to continue a relationship and that's what he wants, for him I would," she told a local news station shortly before her release.

Fualaau told a television reporter at Sea-Tac International Airport on Tuesday that he still loved Letourneau but that he was "kind of nervous" about what the future held.

Letourneau is the daughter of Republican former U.S. Rep. John Schmitz. She was a married mother of four, teaching at Shorewood Elementary School in Burien, a small, working-class town about 14 miles south of Seattle, when she met Fualaau as a second-grader in her class.

The sexual contact began in 1996, when Fualaau was 12 and in sixth grade and Letourneau, then 34, was his teacher.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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