Teacher who had boy's baby ordered into treatment
Judge hands down 6 months jail sentence
November 14, 1997
Web posted at: 4:41 p.m. EST (2141 GMT)
KENT, Washington (CNN) -- A former teacher who had sex with a sixth-grade student and later gave birth to his child was sentenced Friday to six months in jail.
Mary Kay LeTourneau, 35, who pleaded guilty in August to two counts of second-degree child rape, has already served 100 days of that sentence while awaiting trial. After serving the remaining 80 days, she must undergo three years of treatment in a community-based program for sex offenders.
Before sentencing, a tearful LeTourneau told the judge, "I did something that I had no right to do, morally or legally. It was wrong and I am sorry," she said, adding "it will not happen again."
"Please help me. Help us all," she said.
Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence LeTourneau to 6 1/2 years in prison. But the mother of the boy, who was 13 at the time of the sexual relationship, asked the judge not to send LeTourneau to jail, saying she "is not a bad person, just a human being that made a terrible mistake." 706K/32 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
The mother, whose identity was not disclosed, said she felt LeTourneau had been "punished enough." She said her son did not feel victimized and would only feel guilt if LeTourneau went to jail.
Superior Court Judge Linda Lau cited the "express wishes of the victim and his family" in opting for the short sentence.
But she ordered LeTourneau to stay away from the boy, and she warned that she would send LeTourneau to prison for seven years if she violated any of the conditions of her release. 680K/31 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
During her sentencing hearing, LeTourneau's lawyer put a psychiatrist on the stand, Dr. Julia Moore, who testified that LeTourneau suffers from a "bipolar" mood disorder which could lead to irrational or irresponsible behavior.
"She seemed to have pure mania during her relationship with the boy," said Moore, who added that the medical condition was usually genetic and means she was amenable to treatment.
But psychologist Dr. Robert Wheeler, testifying for the prosecution, said that LeTourneau has never acknowledged that her conduct constituted rape. He said the only crime LeTourneau seemed willing to admit was infidelity to her husband.
Wheeler said she had indicated to him that she wanted to reunite with the boy, now 14, and that they knowingly and willingly had sex.
Wheeler said the incident was an "egregious" misuse of trust and exhibited an extraordinary "impairment of social judgment." He said her behavior "raises questions as to whether she can be treated in the community."