Former Republican Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin pardoned 28 prisoners on his way out of office, including Micah Schoettle, convicted of repeatedly raping a nine year old girl over a two year period, often while her sister was present. Bevin told a conservative talk-show host that he believed Schoettle had been falsely accused and convicted, citing his understanding that child rape survivor's hymen was intact (a peer-reviewed study of girls who survive rape found that only 2.1% of them had visible damage to their hymens; Bevin told an interviewer "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").
The rape survivors and their families now live in fear of their attacker, who, because of his pardon, will not have to register as a sex-offender.
It's not clear why Bevin pardoned as many criminals as he did, or how he chose them, but at least some of them are related to GOP donors who hosted fundraisers to pay off his campaign debts. A partisan group of Kentucky lawmakers have called for an investigation into Bevin's pardons.
Bevin was a trumpian official who often trafficked in conspiracy theories and disinformation while campaigning and in office. He served a single term before being narrowly defeated by Andy Beshear, a Democrat whose father was Steve Beshear, who served as Kentucky's governor for 8 years before Bevin took office.
Bevin has denied that any political favoritism played any role in his decision-making. “I got campaign donations from tens of thousands of people, I couldn’t begin to know who’s related to who,” he told WHAS on Thursday.
The former governor’s comments about a rape victim’s hymen set off a new round of criticism on Thursday night.
“Outside of how disgusting this comment is, it’s just another reminder of what it means for girls and women to have men who don’t understand anything about our bodies legislating them,” the feminist writer Jessica Valenti tweeted.
Kentucky’s ex-governor pardoned a child rapist because the 9-year-old victim’s hymen was intact [Antonia Noori Farzan/Washington Post]
(via Naked Capitalism)