January 8, 1998 in City

Woman Who Raped Former Student Faces Uneasy Freedom Former Teacher Who Bore 13-Year-Old’s Child Must Register As Sex Offender

Seattle Times
 

She has traded the red jail coveralls worn by felons for street clothes and her former cell at the Regional Justice Center for a residence on a street of trim older homes near Seattle’s Seward Park.

With the end of her 180-day jail sentence for raping a former student whose child she bore, Mary Kay LeTourneau is free, but not without restrictions. She now begins a court-ordered, threeyear treatment program and must live with the label “sex offender.”

Tuesday, Seattle police assessed LeTourneau’s “risk level,” according to state guidelines, and placed the former Highline School District elementary school teacher at Level 2, which means she is considered a moderate risk to reoffend.

Level 3 offenders are determined to be the most dangerous and require police to hold community meetings to alert the public. Level 1 offenders don’t require any neighborhood notification.

Level 2 means police will distribute fliers with LeTourneau’s photo, crime information and her approximate address.

“This is a sensational neighborhood,” said resident David Myre, 73, who wasn’t worried about his new neighbor.

“I don’t see any problem,” Myre said of LeTourneau. “I hope she’s rehabilitated.” But, he said, it’s especially important that she be kept away from children for now.

But in a community with mom-and-pop stores and family restaurants, where yellow school buses are as familiar sights as the playgrounds that surround nearby neighborhoods, 38-year-old Clay Borella understands why parents would worry about LeTourneau’s arrival.

“If I had kids, I would feel pretty strong about it one way or the other,” he said. “… I feel she made a pretty big mistake.”

That mistake swayed police to place her as a Level 2 offender.

“What put her over the top (to a Level 2 status) was that she was in a position of trust,” Detective Bob Shilling said.

In August, LeTourneau pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old former student, whom she had known since he was in her second-grade class. King County Superior Court Judge Linda Lau sentenced her to 180 days in jail and gave her a 7-year suspended sentence.

There are 130 sex-offender treatment providers listed under SSOSA, and LeTourneau will begin therapy with a psychologist.

But, according to the provisions of the court order, LeTourneau’s therapy will be highly structured and every part of her life - from her sex life to her work life - will be up for review.

Under some of Lau’s guidelines, LeTourneau is required to:

Not date or have a relationship with anyone who has minor children.

Disclose her “sexual deviancy” to potential sex partners and inform the psychologist of any plans for sexual activity.

Not become pregnant again.

Have no contact with the victim, or unsupervised contact with her own four children by her estranged husband. She may have contact with her baby.

Bring in her “support system” to meet her therapist.

Maintain employment or volunteer work and inform the supervisor of her sexual-deviancy status.


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