Mary Kay Letourneau
Mary Kay Letourneau
Born Mary Katherine Schmitz
January 30, 1962 (1962-01-30) (age 49)
Orange County, California, U.S.
Other names Mary Kay Fualaau
Spouse Steve Letourneau (1984-1999) (divorced)
Vili Fualaau (2005-present)
Children Six (four by Letourneau; two by Fualaau)
Parents John G. Schmitz and Mary E. Schmitz (née Suehr)
Relatives John P. Schmitz and Joseph E. Schmitz (brothers), four other siblings and two half-siblings

Mary Kay Fualaau (née Mary Katherine Schmitz; born January 30, 1962), formerly known as Mary Kay Letourneau, is an American schoolteacher who was imprisoned from 1997 to 2004 for having sexual intercourse with her 13-year-old student, Vili Fualaau. She gave birth to two of Fualaau's children while incarcerated. After her release from prison in 2004, Letourneau married Fualaau and took his name.[1][2]


Early life

Letourneau was born Mary Katherine Schmitz in Tustin, California, to university professor John G. Schmitz and chemist Mary Schmitz.[3][4] She was known as Mary Kay to her family and called "Cake" by her father.[5] She was the fourth of seven children, raised in a "strict Catholic household."[5][6] When she was 2 years old, her father began his political career and successfully ran as a Republican for a seat in the state legislature.[6] He held positions as a California state senator and U.S. Congressman and, after changing parties, he ran for president as an American Independent Party candidate in the 1972 U.S. presidential election.[7][8]

In 1973, Letourneau's 3-year-old brother drowned in the family pool at their home in the Spyglass Hill section of Corona del Mar, California.[7]

In 1982, her father's political career was severely damaged when it was revealed that during his affair with a former student at Santa Ana College, where he had taught political science, he had fathered two children out of wedlock.[9] Her father's affair caused her parents to separate, but they later reconciled. According to friends Mary Kay felt betrayed and thought her mother was a cold person who "drove him to it" by denying her father affection.[10][11] Schmitz refused to lend financial support or assistance to his illegitimate children who became wards of the state after their mother died.[11]

Mary Kay attended Cornelia Connelly High School, an all-girls Catholic school in Anaheim, California, where she was a member of the cheerleading squad for Servite High School . During her high school years she is reported to have "liked parties, boys, and traveling."[12] She was also a student at Arizona State University and was reported to be a "party-animal."[12]

Personal life

While attending Arizona State University, Letourneau, then Schmitz, met and married fellow student Steve Letourneau. They had four children, the first conceived while she was enrolled at Arizona State University.[citation needed]

Letourneau says she was not in love with Steve Letourneau and married him after being urged by her parents. Letourneau and her husband left the university[13] and moved to Anchorage, Alaska.[14] After a year in Alaska, her husband was transferred to Seattle and Letourneau gave birth to her second child, whom she named Claire. Letourneau attended night classes at Seattle University and graduated in 1989. Later she began teaching second grade at Shorewood Elementary School in the Seattle suburb of Burien, Washington.

Letourneau's marriage reportedly suffered from financial problems and extramarital affairs by both partners.[14] Letourneau's attorney, former neighbor and friend, David Gehrke, says that she was "emotionally and physically abused by her husband" during the marriage and twice "went to the hospital for treatment, and police were called," even though criminal charges were never filed. Despite these marital issues, Letourneau gave birth to two more children, her son Nicholas and her daughter Jacqueline.[15] In May 1999, while incarcerated, Letourneau divorced Steve Letourneau and surrendered custody of her four children.[16]

Letourneau's brother John Patrick Schmitz is the former deputy counsel to President George H. W. Bush.[8]

Crime, trial and conviction

In 1996 while Letourneau was a Des Moines, Washington elementary school teacher, her relationship with 13-year-old student Vili Fualaau transformed from friendship into flirtation and sex.[17] Letourneau was arrested in March 1997 after her husband, Steve Letourneau, notified the police.[18]

During the trial she was examined and diagnosed with manic depression.[7] Letourneau pled guilty and was convicted of two counts of second-degree child rape. She was sentenced to six months in the county jail and three years of treatment.[clarification needed][19] At that time she was not required to register as a sex offender.[19] As part of her plea bargain, Letourneau agreed to avoid any further contact with Fualaau.[19]

Two weeks[19] (or one month)[17][clarification needed] after her release from jail, police found Letourneau while she was having sexual relations with Fualaau in her car. She was arrested for violating the terms of her parole and the police found $6200 in cash and her passport inside her car.[9] As a result, Letourneau was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.[9]

In October 1998, while serving her sentence, Letourneau gave birth to her second daughter by Fualaau.[18] In January, 2001, Letourneau's father died, and she was denied a release from prison to attend his funeral.[20] While in prison Letourneau tutored fellow inmates, created audio books for blind readers, participated in the prison choir and "rarely missed Mass."[18] Because of her celebrity status Letourneau was unpopular with other inmates, "sassed guards and balked at work" and spent "18 of her first 24 months" in solitary confinement.[18]

In 2002, Fualaau's family sued the Highline School District and the city of Des Moines, Washington, for emotional suffering, lost wages, and the costs of rearing his two children, claiming the school and the Des Moines Police Department had failed to protect him from Letourneau.[21] During the ten week trial, defense attorneys Anne Bremner, representing the Des Moines Police Department, and Michael Patterson, representing the Highline School District, prevailed and no damages were awarded.[22]

Letourneau was released on a community placement program on August 4, 2004 and the following day she registered with the King County Sheriff's Office as a Level 2 sex offender.[17]

Relationship with Vili Fualaau

Letourneau first met Vili Fualaau when he was a student in her second-grade class at Shorewood Elementary School in Burien, Washington;[23] she later taught a sixth-grade class in which Fualaau was a student. Letourneau began an intimate relationship with 12-year-old Fualaau,[24] and at 35 Letourneau became pregnant with Fualaau's child.[23] Letourneau was subsequently arrested, convicted and imprisoned for statutory "second degree rape of a child".[19]

Letourneau gave birth to two children with Fualaau, giving her a total of six children. Her first daughter with Fualaau, Audrey, was born in May 1997 while Letourneau was out of jail on bail. Daughter Georgia Alexis was conceived while Letourneau was on probation, and was born in October 1998 while Letourneau was incarcerated.

After Letourneau's release from prison in 2004, Fualaau, then age 21, filed a motion in court, requesting a reversal of the no-contact order against Letourneau.[17] A few days later the request was granted.[25] Letourneau and Fualaau were married on May 20, 2005 in the Seattle suburb of Woodinville in a ceremony at the Columbia Winery.[2] Exclusive access to the wedding was given to the television show, Entertainment Tonight[2] and photographs were released through other media outlets. Letourneau has said that she would like to have another child and return to the teaching profession[26] and indicated that by law she is permitted to teach at private schools and community colleges.[26]

Since their marriage, Letourneau and Fualaau have hosted three "Hot for Teacher Night" promotions at a Seattle night club with Fualaau serving as the disc jockey and Letourneau as host.[27][28][29][30]

During an Inside Edition interview Fualaau said, "I'm not a victim. I'm not ashamed of being a father. I'm not ashamed of being in love with Mary Kay."[31] Attorney Anne Bremner, who met Letourneau in 2002 during Fualaau's civil suit, said that Letourneau considered her affair with Fualaau to be "eternal and endless." According to Bremmer, "Nothing could have kept the two of them apart."[17]

See also

Suggested reading

  • Letourneau, Mary Kay; Vili Fualaau (1999). Un seul crime, l'amour (Only one crime, love). Paris, France: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2-221-08812-3. 
  • McElroy, W. (2004). No panic over school child abuse. Commentary: The Independent Institute. (Request reprint).
  • Olsen, Gregg (1999). If Loving You is Wrong. New York, NY: St. Martins: True Crime. 
  • Robinson, J. (2001). The Mary Kay Letourneau Affair. Overland Park, KS: Leathers Publishing. 
  • Dress, C. (2004). Mass With Mary: The Prison Years. Trafford, BC, Canada: Trafford Publishing. 


  1. ^ Wilson, Kimberly A.C. (March 18, 1999). "Letourneau may be transferred to out-of-state prison". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Letourneau marries Fualaau amid media circus". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. May 21, 2005. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  3. ^ "California Births, 1905 - 1995". Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database). Pearl Street Software. 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  4. ^ Warrick, Pamela. "The Fall from Spyglass Hill." Los Angeles Times. 29-04-1998. Retrieved 22-10-2009. Page 4. [1]
  5. ^ a b "Mary Kay Letourneau's father dies". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. January 12, 2001. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Noe, Denise. Mary Kay Letourneau: The Romance that was a Crime. From chapter entitled "The Politician's Family." [2] Entire work available at website, as part of its "Crime Library."
  7. ^ a b c Warrick, Pamela. "The Fall from Spyglass Hill." Los Angeles Times. 29-04-1998. Retrieved 22-10-2009. Page 3. [3]
  8. ^ a b Washington Post, Conservative GOP Congressman
  9. ^ a b c Spin Magazine, June 1998, p 124
  10. ^ Noe, Denise. Mary Kay Letourneau: The Romance that was a Crime. From chapter entitled "Scandal of the Second Family." [4] Entire work available at website, as part of its "Crime Library."
  11. ^ a b Warrick, Pamela. "The Fall from Spyglass Hill." Los Angeles Times. 29-04-1998. Retrieved 22-10-2009. Page 4. [5]
  12. ^ a b Noe, Denise. Mary Kay Letourneau: The Romance that was a Crime. From chapter entitled "The Politician's Family." [6]
  13. ^ Noe, Denise. Mary Kay Letourneau: The Romance that was a Crime. From chapter entitled "Marrying Mr. Right Now." [7]
  14. ^ a b Noe, Denise. Mary Kay Letourneau: The Romance that was a Crime. From chapter entitled "Marrying Mr. Right Now." [8] Entire work available at website, as part of its "Crime Library."
  15. ^ Warrick, Pamela. "The Fall from Spyglass Hill." Los Angeles Times. 29-04-1998. Retrieved 22-10-2009. Page 3. [9]
  16. ^ Candy Hatcher, Letourneau can profit from story, appeals court rules [10]Seattle Post-IntelligencerApril 19, 2000
  17. ^ a b c d e Skolnik, Sam; Vanessa Ho (August 5, 2004). "Letourneau registers as sex offender". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c d Jerome Richard July 26, 2004, Together Again? People (magazine)
  19. ^ a b c d e "HeinOnline". HeinOnline. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  20. ^ "Mary K. Letourneau's father dies; she won't get to attend funeral". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. January 11, 2001. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  21. ^ Johnson, Tracy (March 22, 2002). "Fualaau's suit says he wasn't protected from Letourneau". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  22. ^ Skolnik, Sam (May 21, 2002). "Schools, police absolved in Fualaau case". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  23. ^ a b Gartner, Richard B. (1999). "Encoding Sexual Abuse as Sexual Initiation" (Google Book Search). Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men. New York: Guilford Press. p. 45. ISBN 9781572306448. OCLC 317520944. LCCN 98-55694.,M1. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  24. ^ Morales, Tatiana (August 3, 2004). "What's Next For LeTourneau?". The Early Show. Retrieved June 1, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Letourneau now allowed to see former student". Local. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. August 7, 2004. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  26. ^ a b "Letourneau and Fualaau, one year later". Dateline NBC. June 2, 2006. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  27. ^ Mary Kay latest update, NY
  28. ^ Mary Kay Hosts, Fox News
  29. ^ "Letourneau, young spouse to host "Hot for Teacher" night". Associated Press. The Seattle Times. May 21, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  30. ^ McNerthney, Casey (May 24, 2009). "Inside the Mary Kay Letourneau "Hot For Teacher" night". The Big Blog. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  31. ^ CBS News: What's Next for LeTuorneau?

External links

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