Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Female Sex Offenders

If Loving You is Wrong

Book Cover: If Loving You is Wrong
Book Cover: If Loving You is Wrong

Mary Kay insisted it was love, and four months later gave birth to a girl. It came out, according to Gregg Olsen, author of a book on the case, If Loving You is Wrong, that Mary Kay was the daughter of a once famous California Congressman who had disgraced himself. John Schmitz, a prominent member of the John Birch Society and profoundly right-wing, had two illegitimate children with a campaign worker — also a former student.

On August 7, 1997, Letourneau pled guilty to two counts of second-degree statutory rape. While the prosecutor insisted that this was a serious crime, Judge Lau accepted her interest in getting psychological help. He sentenced her to 89 months in prison and then suspended the sentence in lieu of her taking medication, attending a sex offenders treatment group, and having no further contact with Vili. After five months, she was free to return to her family.

Yet she was apparently not convinced she had a problem, as she took up with the boy once more and had yet another daughter. This time she received seven years in prison. She served it, found Vili again, and married him in 2005 (giving Entertainment Tonight exclusive access to the ceremony). He and his mother sued the school system for allowing the situation to happen, but lost.

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