Woman pleads guilty in Nacogdoches court to sex assault of child

Tammy Butler mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.
Tammy Butler mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

Nacogdoches, TX (KTRE) - A lesbian affair involving a teenage girl, a sexual encounter involving a married couple and the girl, an angry mother, sexual assault charges and a young girl dealing with her own sexuality. These are the components of the Tammy Jean Butler trial.

Tammy Jean Butler,37, plead guilty to the aggravated sexual assault, specifically oral sex, of a teenage girl. District Attorney Nicole Lostrocco offered a plea agreement, but Butler is taking her chances with a jury. Now a Nacogdoches County jury is determining the woman's punishment.

Today the girl is almost 17 year old girl. She has been exploring her sexuality for years and revealed her deeply personal experiences before jurors. She spoke how she could discuss her sexual preferences for women with Tammy Butler, but couldn't with her own mother.

Then a text came from Tammy. It read, "If you wish to play with the big girls you can call me any time." At that point sexual encounters began.

"Not often in East Texas do you see same sex situations male on male, female on female that make it this far through the system," John Boundy, Butler's attorney said.

The two women kept journals of their love for one another. Some lines were so graphic that it made one reader, the girl's step mom, physically ill.  The written words are today a vital piece of evidence in the punishment phase of the trial.

The first to learn of the women's affair was Tammy's husband, Marlon. He too is facing sexual assault charges. The girl described him as an "over controlling jerk". "At one point he was kissing Tammy," the girl said. "In no way is he going to outdo me", she said. She then described how she had oral sex with Tammy. Marlon joined in according to the girl. The girl said, "I was scared he was trying to get Tammy in trouble and I wasn't about to let that happen, so I let him do what he wanted."

Eventually, Marlon and Tammy split up. Tammy made an unsuccessful suicide attempt. She texted the girl while she was at school. The girl recalled what the text said. "I can't take it anymore. I love you, goodbye," she said.  Her school's superintendent testified about the girl's hysterical state. He said that he has only seen children get this upset when there's a loss of a loved one. The girl rushed with a school counselor to Tammy's side in an effort to save her life.

The girl revealed her dark secret to a trusted friend after she over heard the girl's flirtations with Tammy on a cell phone. The friend later told the girl's mother. The mother testified, "I was disgusted a grown woman would do what she did to a 15 year old child." She immediately filed charges and sent her daughter to a psychiatric hospital.

Tammy was arrested and made bond. She knew the journals were with the girl's step mom. She placed a cell phone voice mail asking that they be burned. The tape was played before jurors.

The relationship continued. The two women even ran away together. The girl said she didn't want Tammy to get in trouble so she called her dad who lived in Waco. She thought she would be going home with them, but instead they took her to authorities. Then the girl's treasured journals are turned over to investigators by a concerned step mom.

The defense is expected to present its witnesses tomorrow. Tammy Butler could receive 2-20 years in prison or probation. Then there's yet another trial.  Marlon Butler is in jail for the same offenses.

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