Is Mary K. Letourneau a pedophile?

I’m having a bit of a hard time getting my head around this one:

Mary K. and Vili Fualaau can now meet. They want to meet. Word has it they may still be in love.

Thing is, I was always told that pedophiles are, by definition, incapable of sustaining true adult sexual relationships because they simply don’t swing that way. Getting a pederast to love an adult is as easy as getting a homosexual to become a heterosexual, in other words.

Well, Vili is now an adult. If Mary K. and Vili hit it off, is she no longer a pedophile? Has love cured her paraphilia? Is it possible for pedophiles to continue loving a child into adulthood? Would Mary K. inevitably leave Vili for a boy more compatible with Mary K.'s age preference?

Weird stuff.

There’s always the chance that all those years ago, she loved the guy in spite of his age, rather than because of it. But I don’t pretend to know a lot about their situation.
Also, pedophile really wouldn’t apply to her in any case, since Vili was obviously sexually mature enough to enjoy doing the deed. I think ephidophile is the more correct term for what she was back then.

I agree, At one point [when I was just over 30] I had a love affair with someone who was just 18, a difference of some 12 years. If I had been younger, and the age range held, that would have been illegal because the guy would have been under 18. I didnt fall in love with him because he was 18, age was immaterial - I fell in love with the guy inside. Probably today, at 43, if I were to get rid of mrAru and trade him for an 18 year old, it would raise a few eyebrows, but mrAru would be a lucky dog to get an 18 year old wife…

I still dont see what the freaking deal is, a guy of 50 can marry an 18 year old, and all she is is a trophy wife, and he is a lucky dog…yet if a woman of 50 were to marry an 18 year old, it is disgusting…[you wouldnt believe the number of people I know who find that italian food commercial with the really young guy and the really old italian woman disgusting, yet they think a guy getting a babe is ok=]

Reverse the genders of the people in question and see if that still holds water. Vili’s consent, enjoyment and (this phrase in this context makes me LOL) “sexual maturity” are all basically irrelevant. His life is a mess now (Uneducated, unemployable, has two kids and no clue how to raise them) and much of the reason can be laid at her feet.

Yep, they’re together now and only time will tell if she’ll find true love with him or go trolling for fresher 12-year-olds (In the case of male pedophiles, that’s the typical outcome, but maybe she’s wired differently, I dunno).

I shouldn’t feel so strongly about this; a good friend of mine was an Appalachian child bride back in the early 60s, and she turned out okay. But she was the product of a time and place where that was considered normal, and that makes a huge difference.

I’m not sure I buy the “he enjoyed it, so she’s not a pedophile” reasoning. 12 is barely the cusp of sexual maturity, and from what I’ve read about Fualaau, his relationship with Letourneau has probably messed him up pretty badly. If he were mid-to-late teens, it’d be a lot different, I think. But 12? That’s young. A hell of a lot happens between age 12 and 15 (at least, a hell of a lot happened to me), and, quite frankly, the thought of a married adult well out of his/her teens having relations with a pre-teen skeeves me to no end.

Also, I can’t see how she could be anything but a pedophile if she goes for a pre-teen. Come on, a teacher and her sixth grader? Even I, despite my unusually permissive sexual attitudes, can’t stomach that.

But if they can have a relationship now…well, I just don’t know what to think.

Her earlier relationship with him was disturbing and wrong, and she did time for it.

And his relationship with her now will probably be strange and twisted because of what went on. I don’t give it much chance for success.

But… They are both adults now. He may be with her because of damage she did to his psyche when he was 12, but he’s a free citizen. Lots of people get into bad relationships for bad reasons, and we don’t use the law to stop them.

We should now let them be, and the media should get out of their faces and let them try to build some kind of life, even if it was made ten times harder by this woman’s unethical behaviour when he was 12.

Strictly speaking ,“pedophile” refers to those who are attracted to pre-pubescent children. “Ephebophile” refers to those who are particularly attracted to adolescents in or past puberty . I think (although I’m not 100% sure) that the person who said she couldn’t be a pedophile was referring to the chances that Vili had at least started puberty by 12, and not saying that it was okay because he enjoyed it…

Thank you, doreen. That’s the point I was trying to make. (and you corrected my spelling error too!)

IIRC, he was already a couple of years into puberty when he was 12.

Sort of by definition she is a child molester. Pedophile is a more technical word, one upon which I have no training.

Wasn’t he 14, not 12?

CNN says he was 12 at the time. He was obviously sexually mature, since he got her pregnant twice. So she’s an ephebophile. I’m not sure if a 42-year-old involved with a 21-year-old qualifies, but we’ll see if they have a relationship or if she goes after another kid. In an earlier thread about this, someone posted that prison officials or doctors or something had said she was likely to do that. Anybody remember who made that post?


OK, so she’s an ephebophile (at term I was blissfully unaware of before starting this thread).

Some questions:

Is ephebophilia considered a pathological paraphilia, or is it something more akin to a benign “fetish”?

Are there “borderline” pedophilic ephebophiles, and, if so, is Mary K. one of them?

Are ephebophiles typically as locked into an age preference as pedophiles, or are they more adaptable, e.g., can a bona fide ephebophile move on to an adult relationship?

I think it’s just a different paraphelia. It’s a desire for kids who are or appear, say, 12 to 16 instead of below puberty, so I wouldn’t say call it preferable. Look at it this way: Humbert Humbert was an ephebophile, not a pedophile. We’d still call him a scuzz.

Does he actually want a relationship with her? I barely caught this on the radio, and I thought I’d heard that he was merely requesting that contact be allowed in order to ‘discuss’ the raising of the children.

What about them? Will they want to have any involvement with Mary K. when they’re older?

I hope not. She’ll want to date them in a few years.

Good God, can we leave them alone, maybe?

Yes, she fucked up his life. And how much better has the invasive public attention into his sexuality made his life?


If she had just left him the fuck alone, or maybe after the first kid left him the fuck alone, or if he hadn’t started writing books with his mom, or doing the talk show circuit…

Vili certainly didn’t shrink from publicity as he got older.

Oy, I smell the briquets…