An Australian woman whose mother arranged for her to be raped has urged a court to extend her mother’s sentence as her release date approaches.
Peta Butler was 16 when an overweight man with bulging eyes raped her in a Toowoomba hotel room. Butler’s mother, Therese, not only organized the rape but sat outside smoking a cigarette while her daughter was being violated, according to news.com.au.
Therese told her teen daughter that they were going to the hotel for a “girl’s weekend.” Once there, she fed her alcohol and put her in the bedroom to be raped, the news station reported.
“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. I was frozen. I couldn’t do anything. I just couldn’t move,” Peta recalled to the Courier Mail.
A taped phone conversation between Peta and Therese caught the mother confessing to the arrangement. Therese reportedly maintained that she wouldn’t have allowed the man to touch her daughter had she been under 16. (The age of consent in Australia is 16 or 17, per the Australian Institute of Family Studies.)
Peta is heard telling her mother, “I told him no, I was crying, I was telling him no.”
The mother responds by insisting that the man said, “he wasn’t gonna touch you.”
The man who attacked Peta, now 27, remains at large. And Therese, who was sentenced to four years in February for the 2006 incident, will be a free woman in October as her sentence was suspended after 12 months.
A petition is calling the Attorney-General to appeal the case and extend Therese’s sentence—and her own daughter is the petition’s most vocal supporter.
“Australian children who are victims of pain, torture, neglect, malnutrition, emotionally or sexually abused or subject to violence for several minutes, hours or days should automatically have their abuser sentenced to Murder Charges. These charges should be automatic when there is sufficient evidence to prosecute,” it reads in part.
Peta, who has children of her own, claimed she fears for her and her family’s life with her mother’s impending release.
Peta told 9Now’s A Current Affair, “She knew what was happening. She might as well have murdered me on that day. She took me to that place and premeditated the whole thing. That’s not a mother.”
[Featured Image: Peta Butler/9Now video screengrab]