Mom Testifies in Teacher Sex Case

ByABC News
April 11, 2002, 10:44 AM

April 11 -- The mother of the teenager suing a school district and police department for allegedly failing to protect him from a teacher convicted of raping him said today she could not hate the woman who bore her two grandchildren.

Soona Vili testified today that she did not suspect that her son Vili Fualaau, then 12, had a sexual relationship with his sixth-grade teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau, until a detective notified her.

Taking the stand in King County Superior Court in Kent, Wash., Soona Vili said she was shocked because she had let her son stay over at Letourneau's home and go on Letourneau family trips. She said she confronted the teacher, saying, "How could you? I trusted you."

However, though she blames Letourneau for ruining her son's life, Soona Vili tearfully said she could not hate the former teacher.

"I can't say I hate Mary," Vili said. "Just a couple of weeks ago my granddaughter turned around to me and asked, 'Do you love my Mary mommy, Grandma?' And I'm supposed to tell her 'Yeah, I hate your mother?' I can't. I can't. And looking at my granddaughters, I can't consciously say I hate this woman."

Soona Vili is raising the two daughters Letourneau bore her son. Letourneau, who was convicted of child rape in the case, is serving a 7 ½-year prison term.

Vili Fualaau, now 18, and his mother are suing the Highline, Wash., School District and the Des Moines, Wash., Police Department for $1 million. They contend officials should have noticed the warning signs around Letourneau, who they say seduced the boy when he was just 12. She was 34 at the time, married and the mother of four children. Letorneau and the teen ended up having relationship that spanned several years.

"I never condone[d] the relationship what happened was morally wrong," Soona Vili said. "She was married and this was a teenage boy, but I will do what I need to do to get through this."

Mary Still Abuses My Son

Soona Vili said she regretted allowing her son to sell his story to the media and cooperate in the production of a made-for-TV movie.