Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is defending his decision to pardon a convicted child rapist shortly before leaving office on the basis that "there was zero evidence." And by that he means the victim's hymen was intact. In a WHAS radio interview, Bevin discussed the case of Micah Schoettle, who served less than 18 months of a 23-year sentence, claiming the 9-year-old victim's sister, who was present, denied the assaults took place. "Both their hymens were intact," said the Republican father of nine, per the Louisville Courier Journal. "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."
Except the World Health Organization says that's not the case: "There is no evidence" that a hymen's appearance "can prove whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse or not," it states. Former state chief medical examiner George Nichols says Bevin "not only doesn't know the law" but "clearly doesn't know medicine and anatomy" since "rape is not proved by hymen penetration ... rape is proved by phallic penetration." "Even the defense experts testified they would not expect to find an injury in the victim's sexual assault exam," says Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders, who prosecuted Schoettle's case and is demanding an investigation into the pardon. It's one of more than 400 pardons and commutations Bevin issued in the weeks before leaving office on Dec. 9, per the Lexington Herald Leader. (More on the pardons here.)