The Graduate is a 1967 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols and written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb.
There is that iconic scene as the camera looks through the bent leg of a middle age women at the bewilderment of a young man who says out loud, “Mrs. Robinson are you trying to seduce me?”
The film tells the story of 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate with no well-defined aim in life, who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson, and then falls in love with her daughter Elaine. That scene became every college boys dream. Yet as alluring as that might seem to some and as well as unhealthy to many more, the truth is in that scenario both were adults and there were no victims.
Now fast forward to Amy Fisher, an American woman who became known as “the Long Island Lolita” by the media in 1992, when, at the age of 17, she shot and severely wounded Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the wife of her illicit lover, Joey Buttafuoco. Initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, she eventually pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated assault and served seven years in prison. Paroled in 1999, Fisher became a writer, and a pornographic actress.
As a 16-year-old student in Bellmore, New York, Fisher began an allegedly sexual relationship with 35-year-old Joey Buttafuoco, who denied her claim, after damaging the car her parents had given her for her 16th birthday and appealing to Buttafuoco, owner of the body shop to which she took it, to make the repairs without her family knowing of the damage.
Fisher gradually fell in love with Joey Buttafuoco and became increasingly jealous of his wife. The then-17-year-old Fisher shared with Buttafuoco her idea of murdering his wife. According to Fisher, Buttafuoco helped her plan the shooting, told her about his wife’s habits & when she was usually home.
When interviewed by police, Joey Buttafuoco told them that Fisher could be the shooter. Police Detective Martin Alger obtained a photo of Fisher, and when Mary Jo Buttafuoco regained consciousness the next day, she was able to recognize Fisher from the photo. Fisher was arrested and charged with attempted murder, and on September 23, 1992, she pleaded guilty to first-degree assault.
On December 2, 1992, Fisher was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. She served seven years and was paroled in May 1999 after Nassau County Court Judge Ira Wexner shortened her maximum sentence to 10 years, which made her immediately eligible for parole. The judge acted after having found that she had not been appropriately represented by her lawyer at the time of her 1992 guilty plea.
Joey Buttafuoco denied having an affair with Fisher. In October 1992, the Nassau County District Attorney stated that Buttafuoco would not be prosecuted. However, in February 1993, the case against him was reopened due to rape charges made by Fisher. She testified against him in court and based on this testimony and hotel receipts (dated before Fisher’s 17th birthday) with Buttafuoco’s signature on them, Buttafuoco was charged with statutory rape. Buttafuoco pleaded guilty in October 1993. He served four months in prison. REALLY!
And then history flipped the script.
Mary Kay Letourneau was an American school teacher in a suburb of Seattle, WA who pleaded guilty in 1997 to two counts of felony second-degree rape of a child, Vili Fualaau, who was 12 or 13 at the time and had been her sixth-grade student. Mary Kay was thirty-four at the time and married with four children. While awaiting sentencing, she gave birth to Fualaau’s child. With the state seeking a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence, she reached a plea agreement calling for six months in jail, with three months suspended, and no contact with Fualaau for life among other terms. The case received national attention. Shortly after spending three months in jail the court did something called a shock release, usually given to first time offenders who are deemed to not be a threat to society. Truth is she was only a threat to him!
The police caught Letourneau in a car with Fualaau, soon after that release. A judge revoked her plea agreement and reinstated the prison sentence for the maximum allowed by law of seven-and-a-half years. Eight months after returning to prison, she gave birth to Fualaau’s second child, another daughter. She was imprisoned from 1998 to 2004. Letourneau and Fualaau were married in May 2005, she was 43 and he was 22 at the time. The marriage lasted 14 years until their separation in 2019. Recently when interviewed by an Australian TV program, he was asked what he would say to his younger self if he could now, he replied “Don’t Do It”. Letourneau died of colon cancer July 6, 2020 after several months of treatment at the age of 54. R.I.P
In the 90’s and 2000’s there seem to be an endless number of stories about female teachers molesting their younger students: Christina McCallum, Christine Scarlett, Debra LaFave and Hope Jacoby to mention a few. All these stories grabbed national news but nowhere in any of the media attention was there ever a mention of sex and love addiction. Neither does it happen when the story is about a older male teacher molesting a teenage girl.
Mary Kay was offered sex offenders treatment while incarcerated but refused. Maybe, just maybe when she was shocked released, she would have been able to make a different decision, but she did not. Everyone knows how difficult it is to keep the heroin addict away from the dope dealer. She stuck stubbornly to her narrative throughout the years that she was pursued, and it was just the manifestation of every adolescent boys’ fantasy, and no one thought to ever look at it through a different set of lenses. Just a thought!
If this in anyway resonates with you and you just want to talk, contact me. Confidential and safe and, remember misery IS optional.