Letourneau was a married mother of four in 1996 when she taught Vili Fualaau, 12, in her class at Shorewood Elementary in Burien, a southern suburb of Seattle.
Police discovered them around 1:20 a.m. on June 19, 1996, parked in a minivan at the Des Moines marina.
Letourneau, then 34, first told the police that the boy was 18 years old, raising suspicion that something sexual was going on. At the police station, Fualaau and Letourneau denied that there had been “touching”. They claimed that Letourneau kept the boy and took him from her home after she and her husband fought.
About two months later, the proof was undeniable: Letourneau was pregnant. They had a daughter – and later, another, conceived in 1998, after Letourneau pleaded guilty of raping a child, but before she began serving a sentence of 7.5 years.
Letourneau and Fualaau were married on May 20, 2005 in Woodinville, Washington, after his release.
Fualaau and Letourneau characterized their relationship as a romantic relationship at that time, even writing a book together – “Un Seul Crime, L’Amour” or “Only One Crime, Love”. Their story became the subject of a USA Network film, “All American Girl”.
But it didn’t last a lifetime: King County court records show that Fualaau requested a separation from bed with Letourneau on May 9, 2017.
Fualaau’s mother filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit claiming that the city and the school district had failed to protect her son from the teacher. But the defendants said the relationship was so bizarre that no one could have predicted it. The district attorney said it started outside the school after the end of the school year. The police argued that they simply had no evidence of sexual abuse until it was too late. A jury condemned the family.
Seattle lawyer Anne Bremner represented the police in this trial and befriended Letourneau, visiting her in prison and meeting her for lunch after her release.
“She admitted that it was a crime and that she had to serve her sentence, but when she left, she did not live,” said Bremner. “She went ahead very positively and raised these girls. He was someone I cared about. I really wanted her to be well, and she did. ”
As for Letourneau and Fualauu’s relationship: “Everyone said it wouldn’t last, but it lasted, at least for 20 years. “