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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
US teacher marries boy she raped
Vili Fualaau and Mary Kay Letourneau
Mary Kay Letourneau said the pair had had to stay strong
A former US schoolteacher has married an ex-pupil 10 years after she raped him when he was just 12.

Mary Kay Letourneau, 43, and Vili Fualaau married in a secret ceremony on Friday near Seattle.

Ms Letourneau was arrested in 1997 when pregnant with the couple's first child and admitted second-degree child rape.

She was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years' jail, most of it suspended. She had to serve the full term after she was caught having sex with Mr Fualaau.

She was released last August after having given birth to the couple's second daughter in jail.

'Tragic things'

The wedding was closely guarded after the couple gave exclusive rights to two television shows. The programmes, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, insist they did not pay the couple.

Mary Kay Letourneau in 1998
The teacher was jailed in 1998 after admitting the relationship

The ceremony took place in Woodinville, about 20 miles (32km) north-east of Seattle in Washington state.

The couple's two daughters, Audrey, eight, and Alexis Georgia, seven, who lived in the care of Mr Fualaau's mother until Ms Letourneau's release, acted as flower girls.

Janet Annino, a producer on Entertainment Tonight, said: "[Ms Letourneau] arrived here with a sheet over her head. She had to lie down in the car to avoid the paparazzi."

Ms Letourneau was arrested in 1997 after her then husband, with whom she had four children, found love letters.

She told Entertainment Tonight: "There are tragic things that happen in everyone's life and this certainly was a tragedy.

"Those hard times pass and we had to both maintain a lot of strength... we're here and we're hopeful."



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