Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Female Sex Offenders

The Boy Who Turned her Head

Mary Kay LeTourneau
Mary Kay LeTourneau

In 1992, Mary Kay LeTourneau noticed an eight-year-old boy in the second grade at Shorewood Elementary School where she taught in Burien, Washington. Part Samoan, Vili Fualaau's dark features were exotic and he seemed to show artistic promise. She liked him as a pupil and as he developed, she grew attracted to him as well. By the time he was 12 and in the sixth grade, she was ready to make her move. Despite being married and having four children at home (as well as being 34), LeTourneau was enamored. She offered him a reward for good grades by taking him to a restaurant. Once there, she grew bold and he was ready.

There has been extensive coverage of this case, from a made-for-TV movie to several documentaries to articles and several books. This is due in part to the fact that LeTourneau is pretty, vulnerable, and wrecked the lives of her adoring family, but also to her peculiar persistence in defying court orders to resume her forbidden relationship.

Vili Fualaau
Vili Fualaau

In a deposition interview aired on Court TV's documentary Forbidden Desire, at this restaurant, LeTourneau slide her foot under the table toward her prize student to play "footsie" with him. After the meal, they sat talking in her car and she claimed that Vili told her he wanted to kiss her. Within days, they were full-fledged lovers, convinced they were soul-mates. There was just one problem.

LeTourneau became pregnant, and she wished to keep this love-child. But that meant she would have to reveal the situation: given Vili's distinct features, it would not be difficult for Steven, her husband of 11 years, to see that this child was not his. In fact, in 1997, he discovered love letters they had written and confronted her. His cousin reported the couple to child protection services and on February 26, she was arrested on a charge of child rape.

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