US man splits from ex-teacher wife convicted of raping him

Vili Fualaau and wife Mary Kay Letourneau in a screenshot from an interview with ABC.
Vili Fualaau and wife Mary Kay Letourneau in a screenshot from an interview with ABC.SCREENSHOT: YOUTUBE

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A US man who married his former teacher - after she was jailed on child rape charges over a sexual relationship that began when he was just 12, in a case that shocked the country - has filed for separation.

Vili Fualaau, now 33, filed the court papers for separation from Mary Kay Letourneau earlier this month in the state of Washington.

The couple married 12 years ago in a ceremony shrouded in secrecy.

Letourneau, now 55, was a teacher at a suburban elementary school in Seattle and a married mother of four when she met Fualaau, of Samoan parents, who was then in second grade.

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They began an affair when he was 12 and she was 34.

She was arrested in 1997 after her then husband found some love letters from the boy and she gave birth to her young lover's child before going to prison for second-degree child rape.

 

Letourneau was granted early release after three months on condition she would have no more contact with Fualaau but was caught again having sex with him in a car and was jailed for seven years.

The couple had their second daughter while she was in prison.

It was unclear what prompted Fualaau's request for separation, and his attorney has declined comment.