news

When she was just 16, Peta's mother arranged her own rape. Now, she's walking free.

Peta Butler was 16 years old when her mother organised a “girls trip” that ended in a nightmare.

She was raped by a man three times her age in a seedy motel room.

Her attacker, “Thommo”, was a friend of Therese Butler, Peta’s mother, and she had arranged for him to meet them at the motel so he could have sex with her daughter against her will.

Peta tells her story of A Current Affair. Post continues after.

While “Thommo”, an “extremely obese” man whom Therese had met online, took off her clothes and raped the 16-year-old, who had been plied with alcohol before the attack, her mother sat outside smoking.

Waiting for it to be over, while Peta willed it to end, terrified and helpless.

Therese had facilitated her own daughter’s rape. And she’s not in prison.

While she spent 12 months behind bars for her crime, she was released last October, and she hasn’t stopped tormenting her now 28-year-old daughter.

In a recent string of insults directed at reporters from The Daily Mail, Therese called Peta a “little sl*t” and claimed she was raped by a relative when she was 14.

“Do you believe a little sl- …” she said after being approached by journalists, before correcting herself and saying: “a woman who was raped by her (relative)?”

“She was raped by (a relative) when she was 14,” Therese claimed.

She unleashed again when reporters asked her to help identify the rapist, “Thommo”, who has never been found.

“You want my side of the story, talk to my cop,” she said, before calling a photographer a “f***head” and telling him to go “shove it … up your ar**”.

The incident in the hotel room occurred in 2006, but it took years for Peta to find the strength to confront her mother – the woman who should have been protecting her from such predators.

ADVERTISEMENT

Therese’s confession came a decade later, in an emotional 30-minute phone call Peta had set up with the assistance of police to trick her mother into admitting her involvement.

During the incriminating call, Therese can be heard telling her daughter: “I wouldn’t have taken you down there unless you were 16″.

When Peta says “I told him no, I was crying, I was telling him no”, her mother responds, admitting a crime had taken place.

“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 said.

Therese eventually pleaded guilty to procuring a child for carnal knowledge and was sentenced to four years in prison, suspended after 12 months.

She walked free last October and has been living in Cooloola Cove in Queensland with her new partner.

Her 28-year-old daughter responded to Therese’s recent outburst, telling the Daily Mail her mother’s allegations that she had been raped by a relative were “100 per cent untrue” and that she was “just making up lies”.

“(She) still has no remorse and she never will for what she has done,” she told the publication.

Peta waived her right to anonymity last year to tell her story, in the hopes of inspiring other sexual assault survivors to speak out.

In her first media interview in February 2018, Peta revealed details of the attack to Courier Mail journalist Kate Kyriacou.

“He didn’t say anything. He just literally walked up to me and took off his clothes and took off my pants. I was frozen. I couldn’t do anything. I just couldn’t move,” she said.

She appeared on A Current Affair soon after, telling host Tracy Grimshaw her mother “knew what was happening” but left her alone, helpless and terrified in the Toowoomba hotel room.

“I think to myself ‘how could a mum do what she did’?” she said.

“How could a mum sit outside knowing that their daughter is being raped by her potential boyfriend?

“I was hoping she was going to come in and stop it.”

Peta’s rapist has never been caught, but he was described by Therese as “extremely obese” with bulging eyes, and around 175cm tall.

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. You click, we help. Shooting star illustration.

Mamamia is funding 100 girls in school, every day.

So just by spending time with Mamamia, you’re helping educate girls, which is the best tool to lift them out of poverty.

Thanks for helping!

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. Girl with pigtails sitting at desk writing in notebook. Row of four books.
Three hands holding books
00:00 / ???