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Published: Sunday, 2/20/2005

No lesson in love

Love is in the air near Seattle and this time it's legal.

In one of the more bizarre endings to a twisted fairy tale, the Washington teacher whose illicit trysts with an adolescent student sent her to prison not once but twice, is planning a wedding. Theirs.

Mary Letourneau, now 43, and her one-time sixth-grade lover, Vili Fualaau, now 22, have even set up an online bridal registry in advance of their April nuptials.

The happy couple, who have repeatedly professed their love for each other, also have a ready-made family. Their two daughters were both born in prison while mom was serving time for two counts of second-degree child rape of their dad. After serving a year of her seven-year prison term, Letourneau was paroled on condition that she avoid contact with her minor lover.

She didn't, got pregnant again, and was sent back to prison to finish the sentence, eventually giving birth to another daughter. But all that, apparently, was just a wacky prelude to marriage between the former teacher and ex-student.

Less than a year after her release from prison Letourneau will marry the boy of her dreams, no longer restrained by any no-contact court order. Published reports say the wedding guest list includes more than 200 well-wishers, although it's unlikely the bride's ex-husband and their four children will attend.

Frankly, the wedding toast alone would be worth the price of admission. What do you say to a woman who has betrayed her family, corrupted a minor, and brought two innocents into the world as sexual party favors?

It's hard to know where to start.

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