Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday defended his decision to pardon a convicted child rapist, claiming there was no physical evidence of the rape and that the alleged victim's hymen was “intact.” “There was zero evidence,” Bevin said during a radio interview. The former governor, a father of nine children, was asked how he could defend Micah Schoettle, 41, who was convicted of raping a 9-year-old girl. Bevin said that the victim had been examined and there were no physical signs of rape, and that the girl's sister was also present during the alleged assault. “Both their hymens were intact,” he said. “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 Louisville Courier-Journal notes that Bevin’s claim is incorrect, according to Dr. George Nichols, who was Kentucky’s chief medical examiner for 20 years and also founded the child abuse evaluation system at Kosair Children’s Hospital. “Rape is not proved by hymen penetration,” Nichols told the Courier-Journal. “He not only doesn’t know the law, in my humble opinion, he clearly doesn’t know medicine and anatomy.” Bevin commuted and pardoned hundreds of cases as his gubernatorial term ended Monday night.