'Everybody turned a blind eye': REELZ profiles the child rape case of schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau in new crime doc

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Source: REELZ

Oct. 2 2021, Published 2:55 p.m. ET

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Mary Kay Letourneau was a Seattle-area schoolteacher who pleaded guilty in 1997 to the rape of 13-year-old Vili Fualaau who had been her sixth-grade student.

Letourneau was ultimately imprisoned from 1998 to 2004. Soon after her release, Letourneau left her first husband and their four children and she and Fualaau were married. The REELZ exclusive “Mary Kay Letourneau: ‘Til Death” explores the charges and their relationship through the accounts of law enforcement officials and experts who recall the period when Fualaau first began visiting Letourneau at her home in the summer of 1996.

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“Everybody, turned a blind eye, I guess, to what was happening,” says Karen O'Leary, who covered the case for KIRO-TV. “He told tabloid magazines that they had sex throughout the house over the course of that summer –everywhere-- and they were in love, he said.”

“Vili’s very young, he doesn’t understand the gravity of anything really,” adds Linda Byron Lippincott who reported the story for KING-TV, “And you don’t expect that from a woman in her mid-thirties who is a teacher and highly educated. It was almost as if she didn’t understand that having sex with a thirteen-year-old would be against the law.”

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The Special recounts what happened to the couple between their wedding day and the time when Letourneau died after a battle with colon cancer in July 2020.

While she was still alive Letourneau and Fualaau separated. Fualaau was a DJ at night and worked at a Home Depot during the day. Letourneau was forced to leave teaching and found work as a paralegal. Since Letourneau's cancer diagnosis, friends say she made amends with her estranged first husband and their four children and that Fualaau never left her side.

There is much more to learn when “Mary Kay Letourneau: ‘Til Death” premieres on Tuesday, October 5th at 10ET/ 7PT on REELZ.

Watch REELZ on DIRECTV 238, Dish Network 299, Verizon FiOS 692, AT&T U-verse 1799 and in HD on cable systems and streaming services nationwide. Find REELZ on your local cable or satellite provider at


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