Mum’s excuse for organising daughter’s rape
PETA Butler was just 16 when the most evil of betrayals played out in a down-market Toowoomba hotel room.
She was raped by a balding, fat man, three times her age while her mother - who organised the whole thing - sat outside, metres away smoking cigarettes.
It was a decade before she was "strong enough" to make her mother admit the unimaginable, and get her jailed for it.
Today, as Therese Butler languishes in jail, Peta is speaking out.
"I think to myself 'how could a mum do what she did?'" Peta told A Current Affair's Tracy Grimshaw as she relived more than decade of pain.
"How could a mum sit outside knowing that their daughter is being raped by her potential boyfriend?"
In an interview interspersed with horrifying audio of the dreadful telephone confession which helped bring Therese Butler to justice, Peta described how she waited helplessly for her mother to intervene.
"I was hoping she was going to come in and stop it," Peta tearfully told Grimshaw.
"She knew what was happening."
It was a moment that brought a tear to the eye of the seasoned journalist who replied "yeah, she did. She'd served you up to him to save yourself."
Asked why the Ipswich woman took so long to finally make her mother admit to the horrific crime, Peta replied: "I wasn't strong enough for it at that time. I didn't think people would believe me."
It wasn't until she had daughters of her own that she broke her silence.
Peta first spoke to the media in a devastatingly brave interview in early February when Therese Butler was found guilty of, in 2006, taking the teenager on a "girls weekend" to Toowoomba, plying her with alcohol, and sending her into the bedroom of her their cheap hotel room to be forced into having sex.
"Not long after that, he entered the room. He didn't say anything. He just literally walked up to me and took off his clothes and took off my pants," a brave Peta, told Courier Mail journalist Kate Kyriacou.
"I was frozen. I couldn't do anything. I just couldn't move."
Horrific audio of the phone call confession, coaxed out of Therese by Peta with the unstinting back up of police, was played on A Current Affair.
"I wouldn't have taken you down there unless you were 16," Therese Butler tells Peta.
Peta says "I told him no, I was crying, I was telling him no."
Her mother insists the man said "he wasn't gonna touch you".
She continues: "It was still. yeah ... it was still rape, but you were 16. I wouldn't let him touch you under, under sixteen, no way".
She seems oblivious to her daughter's involuntary part gasp, part moan, part cry of protest over the telephone.
She maintains that "Thommo" promised he had not touched her, then nervously asks her daughter if there is anyone else there who can hear the phone call.
The phone call last 30 minutes.
Therese Butler was sentenced to four years in prison, suspended after 12 months, after pleading guilty to procuring a child for carnal knowledge.
Police are now hunting for Peta's rapist - a man believed to be known as "Thommo", who Peta said spoke with Therese online for about two years before convincing her to allow him to assault her daughter.
"Yeah, she spoke about him. She admitted the day of the rape she had only ever met him - that was the second time after two years," Peta said.
Reliving the trip to Toowoomba, she said the pair had travelled by bus from Brisbane, and her mother slept most of the way.
After a trip to McDonalds, Therese bought alcohol, encouraging Peta to drink it because it would make her warmer.
When "Thommo" arrived at the motel, Therese "leapt into his arms", Peta said.
Peta said Therese told her to go to the other room, and she went, thinking they wanted some "alone time". Then the door opened: "and it was him".
"After about five minutes ... I went to leave the room ... but that's when he stopped me," Peta said.
"He raped me for a couple of minutes. It only lasted ... I had my head turned to the side.
"I couldn't, like, my voice box, I couldn't speak ... I couldn't scream out to my mum, I couldn't talk, I couldn't do anything.
"He never said anything ... I felt his face stubble. He had face stubble, feeling that. And I still remember the smell of him. I still remember.
"He held my hands down. I couldn't move and he was very big ... he was on top of me."
When her mother failed to help, and Peta emerged from the room, her mother hugged her and said, "It's all going to be OK", and Peta said she knew it had all been set up.
Adding to the horror, "Thommo" stayed they night.
Releasing a police sketch of Peter "Thommo" Thompson on ACA, Peta said she remembers "those eyes".
"I remember them popping out. He was extremely obese. But those eyes. He was about, maybe, 175cm. Once you see them, you can't get past them," she said.
Peta now fears what will happen when her mother gets out - probably in October this year - after Therese threatened her for all the court to hear as she was sentenced.
"She set it up and she murdered me on that day, She might as well have," Peta said.
"Like, she set it up, the whole thing. That's not a mother."
Child protection detectives have released a computer-generated image of a man believed to be responsible for the rape.Police are hoping someone may recognise the man depicted in a computer-generated image that was produced with Ms Butler's input by a specialist from the Photographic and Electronic Recording Section.
Police are hoping someone may recognise the man depicted in a computer-generated image that was produced with Ms Butler's input by a specialist from the Photographic and Electronic Recording Section.