If former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has a good explanation for pardoning a convicted child rapist as his term comes to a close, he is choosing to withhold it in favor of much less effective answers.
Bevin pardoned more than 400 people before leaving office after losing November's election to Democrat Andy Beshear, including convicted violent criminals and sexual abusers. Beshear assumed office on Dec. 10.
One of the more controversial pardons is that of 41-year-old Micah Schoettle, who was convicted in 2018 of rape after a 9-year-old girl accused him of raping her repeatedly over the course of two years.
Schoettle was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Because of the pardon, he got out after serving 19 months and will not be required to register as a sex offender.
During a radio interview on WHAS, the Washington Post reported, Bevin was asked by host Terry Meiners how he could stomach pardoning a child rapist.
"Which one?" Bevin replied.
After receiving clarification about which pardoned child rapist he was being asked about, Bevin explained his rationale for the pardon.
"Both their hymens were intact," Bevin said of the victim and her sister, who Schoettle was also accused of raping (the sister denies that she was raped). "This is perhaps more specific than people would want, but trust me, if you have been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically."
Medical research indicates that this is not always the case, and at least one study indicates that only about 2% of child sex abuse cases present evidence of physical damage.
When pressed about the case by a reporter for the Courier-Journal, Bevin told the reporter to ask the victim's mother and "get the facts."
The mother does not support Bevin's conclusions. She told the Courier-Journal that she and her family feel scared to leave the house knowing Schoettle has gone free.
"[Bevin has] met my daughter, and now he's saying that my daughter is a liar. ... Shame on him. Shame on him," she said, according to WCPO-TV.