In 2005, then 16-year-old Peta Butler was raped by her mother’s boyfriend in a situation that her mother purposefully orchestrated. Now, her mother has been sentenced and put away – but her rapist remains at large.
Butler had been tricked by her mother into believing that they were going for a girls night out in Toowomba, near Brisbane. She then coerced Butler into downing a bourbon mix and four vodka cruisers, as she hoped that doing so would cause her to forget whatever transpired that night, as well as prevent her from resisting.
She then left Butler alone in a hotel room. Butler’s mother’s boyfriend then showed up and began to rape her while the mother remained outside, smoking.
Her mother consoled her after the events, and the next day, Butler had to share the room and then the car ride home with her rapist. It took 11 years and becoming a mother herself for Butler to muster up the courage to come forward and report the crime.
At the time, she was worried that no one would believe her, and it took a lot of bravery for her to finally speak out. Senior detective Jodi Bell was on the case and successfully recorded a confession by Butler’s mother in a phone call that Butler had with her mother, where she convinced her to talk about what had happened.
This was used as evidence in the courtroom. Her mother was sentenced to four years in prison, which was suspended after 12 months. She is set to be released in October. But Butler’s mother’s new boyfriend has gang ties and has threatened Butler, and her mother’s final words uttered in the courtroom were orders for Butler to be taken out, so she and her family are now protected by police. Meanwhile, the original rapist remains at large.
The police are now seeking any information that can be provided regarding the incident. It is believed that the man, who is known only as Thommo, would currently be in his 50s and at the time would have been using an email address that is similar to [email protected].
On the night of the events, he would have worn an expensive-looking grey suit and driving a car with cream-colored leather seats. If you have information or recognize this description, please contact your local police station, Policelink or Crime Stoppers.