true crime

Mary Kay Letourneau is 'back together' with the man she abused 20 years ago.

Mary Kay Letourneau is reportedly reconciling with her husband, Vili Fualaau, a former student she was convicted of sexually abusing in the 1990s.

The reports, via People, add another twist in the Seattle couple’s bizarre, headline-grabbing relationship, which began when Fualaau was just 12 years old. At the time, 34-year-old Letourneau was not only his teacher, but a married mother of four.

An investigation, rape conviction, 7.5-year prison sentence and two children later, the pair wed in 2005 once Fualaau was 21. They’ve always insisted their illicit relationship was one built on “true love”, one that was “eternal and endless”.

And it seems they’re persisting with that narrative. Though Fualaau, now 35, filed for legal separation in May 2017, after 12 years of marriage, an unnamed source told People that the couple has reconciled.

“They’re back together,” the source reportedly said. “They’ve worked through a lot of issues in the past year. They just needed to take a step back and realise what they mean to each other. Of course there are still issues, like all marriages, but they’re very much together.”

mary kay letourneau sunday night
Mary Kay, Vili and their two daughters. Image: Channel 7.
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Letourneau and Fualaau had met in 1992 when the boy was in second grade at Shorewood Elementary School in the Seattle suburb of Burien, and entered an illegal sexual relationship four years later. The boy was less than two years older than her eldest son.

“The incident was a late night that didn’t stop with a kiss,” Letourneau told ABC in 2015, describing the first assault. “And I thought that it would, and it didn’t.”

The abuse went on in secret for months, before the teacher was arrested in March 1997, after her husband found letters about the affair. By then she was already pregnant with Fualaau's child. He was just 13.

Letourneau pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child rape, and was handed a suspended sentence of 89 months in November 1997. She served six months in county jail before being released on parole under the condition she attended counselling and didn’t contact Fualaau.

But within a matter of weeks of her release, she was found assaulting him in her car.

The parole violation saw her return to prison for the full 7.5-year sentence, where she gave birth to their second daughter behind bars on October 16, 1998. Both girls were placed into the custody of Fualaau's mother.

Video via Channel 7

Less than a year after her release, the pair married in their home state of Washington.

"It was a huge relief to actually get married... [after] just going through all those years and then having so many questions and them not being answered," Falaau told ABC.

He insists he is "not a victim", nor is he ashamed of how their relationship began.

Letourneau, too, has said she doesn't feeling guilty about what she did to her now-husband. The 54-year-old told Channel 7's Sunday Night program in September that, until her arrest, she never knew it was illegal to have sex with a minor.

“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 said. “I wouldn’t have done it.”

When asked if she was wrongly convicted, Letourneau replied, “Absolutely.”

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