Kentucky's ex-governor was asked how he could pardon a child rapist. He asked 'which one?'

Kathryn Krawczyk

Kentucky's former Gov. Matt Bevin is presenting a good case for why he was voted out of office.

Before the Republican was replaced by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear last week, he went on a pardoning spree that included commuting the sentences of people convicted of homicide and the rape of a child. Bevin was asked Thursday to defend those controversial pardons in an interview with a local radio station — and couldn't remember exactly which child rapist they were talking about.

In the case in question, 41-year-old Micah Schoettle was convicted of rape, sodomy, and other sexual crimes involving young children and received 23 years in prison. But when asked how he, as a father of nine, could defend someone who'd rape a child, Bevin asked "which one? Because there were a couple of people that were accused of that whose sentences I commuted."

Bevin then argued that "there was zero evidence" to prove Schoettle's guilt because, as he disturbingly said, "both their hymens were intact." That's a medically insufficient explanation, argued former Kentucky medical examiner Dr. George Nichols when speaking with the Louisville Courier-Journal. He gave a more medically explicit case for how rape is proved, and then said of Bevin that "he not only doesn't know the law, in my humble opinion, he clearly doesn't know medicine and anatomy."

Radley Balko, an opinion writer for The Washington Post, later acknowledged that Bevin's pardons of convicted murderers "looks shady." But he noted that many of the other pardons involved "shoddy prosecutions," and said these and other "acts of mercy" don't deserved to be lumped in with the more outrageous crimes.

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