Great Britain

Republican ex-governor claims 9-year-old rape victim of sex attacker was lying: 'Her hymen was intact'

Former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin has defended his pardoning of a man convicted of raping a 9-year-old girl, claiming there was “zero” physical evidence.

Mr Bevin, a member of the Republican Party, said during an interview with a radio programme the girl “made it up” because her hymen was intact.

Radio host Terry Meiners asked Mr Bevin how he could pardon Micah Schoettle, who was convicted of rape and sodomy in 2018, reported the Louisville Courier Journal.

Download the new Indpendent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

After revealing the victim’s sister was present during the alleged attack but denied it took place, Mr Bevin 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.”

The hymen is a membrane formed at the opening of the vagina and is usually never completely intact – it often presents as a membrane with small openings or rupture sites that partially cover the vagina.

Studies have found only 2.1 per cent of victims examined in child rape cases had visible injuries on their hymen.

“Alterations of the hymenal appearance are non-specific and… no medical or legal conclusion may be inferred by hymen examination alone,” said a joint report by Kings College Hospital.

Bevin’s claim was also dismissed by Dr George Nichols, the former chief medical examiner in Kentucky and founder of the child abuse evaluation system at a children’s hospital.

Mr Nichols told the Courier Journal Mr Bevin is not only ignorant of the law, but “clearly doesn’t medicine and anatomy” either.

He added: “I worked for six consecutive governors as chief medical examiner and fortunately I didn’t have to report to that a**hole.”

Mr Bevin has pardoned at least one other child rapist, Paul Donel Hurt, who was convicted of sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl.

During his single term as Kentucky’s governer, he issued 428 pardons, including convicted murderers and sex offenders, and said he wouldn’t reconsider any of them.

“In America, I’m all for innocent people not being incarcerated,” he said.