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Law

Court says ex-teacher, pupil she raped, can reunite


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Mary Kay Letourneau
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Mary Kay Letourneau is released from prison. Affiliate KCPQ reports. (August 5)
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Vili Fualaau
Sex Crimes
Washington

SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) -- A judge in Seattle on Friday lifted an order that barred contact between former school teacher and convicted rapist Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau, the now 21-year-old man whom she was convicted of assaulting when he was her student at the age of 13.

Letourneau was released from prison Wednesday and, within hours, Fualaau petitioned the court to lift the no-contact order, saying he still loves her.

The order was part of her sentence in 1997. The prosecutor's office said the court took into consideration that the victim is now a legal adult, and determined there was no legal basis to prevent contact between the two of them.

The couple's daughters, ages 5 and 7, live with Fualaau's mother, and he mostly lives with family friends. Fualaau is unemployed and didn't finish high school.

Letourneau was a 35-year-old elementary school teacher in the Seattle suburbs when she began having sex with the sixth-grader. She was already a mother of four at the time.

At a 2002 civil trial, Fualaau testified, "We had sex in the gym, we had sex in the girl's bathroom and we had sex in her classroom."

When Letourneau was arrested in 1997, she was already pregnant with Fualaau's daughter. Though she professed her love for the boy, a judge sentenced her to six months in jail for second-degree child rape, and ordered her to stay away from him.

A month after Letourneau was released, she was caught having sex with Fualaau in her car. She was sent to prison for 7 1/2 years, and gave birth to Fualaau's second daughter behind bars.

As a sex offender, Letourneau will have to register with the state and receive court-ordered treatment.

Author Gregg Olsen, who has been closely following the case, told CNN, "So many people see this as a love story and want to see them together. I do want to remind people that he was 12 and 13 years old when this thing happened, and his life has been profoundly impacted by what she did."

Olsen said he met with Fualaau three weeks ago, and found him mature following such a troubling past.

"Everything bad that could happen to a teenage boy, which is what he was at the time, happened to him," Olsen said.


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