Last week, former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin came under fire for a series of pardons he granted before leaving office. Among those pardoned was one Micah Schoettle, a man who only served 19 months of a 23-year sentence. His crime? Raping a 9-year-old girl he was related to.
CBS News reports that the FBI has confirmed that it is now investigating the nature of some of those pardons. This comes after both Republican and Democratic lawmakers expressed concern that some of these pardons were done as favors to supporters. The majority of the pardons were for low-level drug offenders but a few were for convicted murderers and rapists which, understandably, raised a few eyebrows.
Bevin defended the pardon of Schoettle when he went on radio station WHAS and said “Both their hymens were intact. 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.” This despite scientific studies showing that only 2.1% of child rape victims had visible damage to their hymen.
Rob Sanders, the Kentucky public prosecutor responsible for putting Schoettle behind bars was shocked to find that he had been released, telling CBS News, “This was a very, very lengthy case that was litigated heavily. ... To hear that he was basically erasing all the work that we had done was just shocking.” Sanders is currently looking into how the pardon got onto the Governor’s desk and if favors were involved. He revealed that the pardon file included letters from the defendant and his family but there was nothing from the victim, police or the prosecutors involved in the case. An attorney for Schoettle stated that he had applied for a pardon like everyone else and that his pardon was not “bought.”
The mother of the 9-year-old victim believes that her daughter is going to have to return to counseling. She’s quoted as saying, “She has read Bevin’s comments about her and I know it upsets her. We’re just kind of taking one day at a time.”
The party of family values strikes yet again.