Saturday, September 29, 2018

Mary Kay Letourneau is Unrepentant

In some states the age of consent is sixteen. That is likely a leftover from the times when people who weren't married by their early twenties at the latest were thought to have something profoundly wrong with them, morally or otherwise. I think laws notwithstanding, today most adults would look askance at a thirty-four year old adult who decided to get busy with a sixteen year old.

There is no state where the age of consent is lower than sixteen. Most normal people in the United States recognize that no matter what they look like or say, people below the age of sixteen are children. Adults shouldn't pursue sexual relations with children. That's abuse. That's wrong. You may remember that thirty-four year old Seattle area married teacher Mary Kay Letourneau had sex with raped her sixth grade student, Vili Fualaau, then twelve years old. Curiously enough one could make the argument that the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Letourneau's father, John Schmitz, (a Holocaust denier, US Representative, Presidential candidate, segregationist, and someone so noxious that he was expelled from the John Birch Society) also had an extramarital affair with a (former) student, though at least he was prudent enough to do his thing with a woman who was an adult. Letourneau had no such age scruples. Disgusted, her husband divorced her and got custody of their children.

Despite an initial slap on the wrist, legally speaking, Letourneau would not stay away from Fualaau, becoming pregnant twice and ending up with a prison sentence of a little over seven years. I think that sentence was still too light all things considered. Likely she benefited from her father's influence, as well as that of her brothers, who are heavy hitters in Republican circles. Anyway all that was a long time ago. Letourneau and Fualaau married after Letourneau's release from prison. Letourneau and Fualaau are still married. He's 34. She's 56. The couple's children are now adults. The couple recently sat down for an interview with an Australian television show. 


Appearing on Sunday Night on Australia’s Channel 7, Letourneau said she did not realize her actions were illegal. “If someone had told me, if anyone had told me, there is a specific law that says this is a crime I did not know,” she told the show.

“I’ve said this over and over again. Had I’d known, if anyone knows my personality. Just the idea, this would count as a crime.” When asked if she was wrongly convicted, Letourneau replied, “absolutely.”


At another point, Doran asked Letourneau if she should have known better because she was the adult in the situation. “You can say that,” Letourneau replied, “but you don’t know him.”
“I don’t need to know him in this discussion,” Doran said incredulously. “He’s the child,” Letourneau turned to Fualaau, “Who was the boss?” she asked him. “Who was the boss? Who was the boss back then?”

Letourneau claims to have no regrets. She makes it sound like Fualaau pursued her and that she was also a victim. Fualaau seems to be wondering why he's still with this woman. He indicates that it was at least in part because he wanted to provide a stable two parent household for his daughters. Of course I wonder how happy any household can be when the answer to how the children's question of how did Mommy and Daddy meet involves rape and prison time. But so it goes. Everyone has to find their own path in life. Perhaps Fualaau will consider divorcing his wife and moving on to someone healthier.

I was just struck by how unrepentant and defiant Mary Kay remains. If the genders or God forbid races were reversed and a young girl had married her male rapist, who continued to opine that some twelve year old girls were fair game and that he was the real victim here, there might be more public disgust. It is messed up to marry your rapist under any condition.

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