Last updated on December 26, 2019
Kentucky’s version of Donald Trump — loser former Governor Matt Bevin — just won’t go away no matter how much Kentucky Republicans wish it. Bevin is an early Christmas present to Kentucky Democrats because he won’t STFU, especially about his criminal pardon fest as he was leaving office. I’m not sure if anyone outside of Kentucky can appreciate how much animosity and possible electoral damage Bevin is generating for Kentucky Republicans. Let’s take a gander at how Bevin is burying himself.
Former Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday defended his controversial last-minute pardon of a man convicted of raping a 9-year-old, saying there was no physical evidence of her abuse.
Bevin's comments came during a wide-ranging17-minute radio interview with talk show host Terry Meiners, who focused mainly on the case of Micah Schoettle, 41.
Bevin, a father of nine children, was asked how he could defend Schoettle. The former governor replied the victim had been examined and there were no physical signs of rape.
“There was zero evidence,” Bevin said.
Bevin also revealed publicly for the first time the victim's relationship to Schoettle and said that the victim's sister was present during the alleged assaults. The sister has denied the assaults took place, 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,” Bevin said.
Emboldended is mine.
Yeah, Bevin is claiming to be a medical expert. Too bad what he is talking about is utter bullshit.
Bevin’s claim is flatly incorrect, Dr. George Nichols, who was Kentucky’s chief medical examiner for 20 years and later started the child abuse evaluation system at Kosair Children’s Hospital, told The Courier Journal.
“Rape is not proved by hymen penetration,” Nichols said. “Rape is proved by phallic penetration … where the vaginal lips meet the outer surface of the vagina.
“He not only doesn’t know the law, in my humble opinion, he clearly doesn’t know medicine and anatomy.”
Nichols added that he worked for six consecutive governors as chief medical examiner, “and fortunately I didn’t have to report to that a—hole.”
According to Forensic Science International, a peer-reviewed journal, a survey of pediatric child abuse rape cases indicated that only 2.1% of subjects examined had visible lesions on the hymen.
Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders, who prosecuted the 2018 case against Schoettle and has called for an investigation into Bevin’s pardon, criticized the former governor’s comments by saying he “is ignorant of the medicine and science in child rape cases.”
As a reminder, Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders is a Republican who supported Bevin for reelection. Also, Kenton County is one of those suburban counties that switched from Bevin to Beshear in the last election. Did I mention it was also a Trump county?
And while Bevin was busy releasing a child rapist, he was also issuing a pardon for a murderer that Bevin’s own Kentucky Police Commissioner Rick Sanders who investigated the case and told Bevin the guy was guilty of the crime.
Then-Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders says he got a message from former Gov. Matt Bevin this summer: Investigate the circumstances that put convicted killer Patrick Baker behind bars.
Sanders, appointed three years ago by Bevin, did what he was asked. Several weeks later, he informed the governor he was confident of Baker's guilt — “without a doubt.”
But in his final days in office, Bevin went on to issue the pardon for Baker — two years into a 19-year sentence for killing a man during a home invasion — stating the evidence against him was “sketchy at best.”
Sanders, now the police chief in Jeffersontown, told The Courier Journal on Wednesday that Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley asked him, on Bevin's behalf, to do the investigation.
“There were some allegations made that Patrick Baker was not guilty and that there were some improper things done by the (State Police) investigators,” Sanders recalled.
Sanders said he took a couple of months with the investigation, working on it with his staff, before delivering his findings during an in-person meeting with Bevin, Tilley and Denny Butler, a former LMPD detective and then-Justice Cabinet employee who was already investigating the Baker case and other convictions for the governor.
Bevin’s response to his pardon of Baker? Well,,,,
In an interview with The Courier Journal last week, Bevin alleged corruption in Baker's prosecution and said exculpatory evidence was ignored. Those two points were repeated in a press conference this week by Baker's attorney, who suggested misconduct by crooked state troopers led to a wrongful conviction.
Bevin has been under fire for several of his pardon choices, but has faced the strongest criticism after The Courier Journal revealed he had attended a 2018 fundraiser held at the Corbin home of Baker's brother, Eric, which netted $21,500 to retire debt from Bevin's 2015 campaign.Then-Gov. Matt Bevin with Eric Baker, right, during a 2018 fundraiser for Bevin at the Baker home in Corbin, Kentucky. (Photo: Courtesy Trent Knuckles/The News Journal)
Also, Republican megadonor Terry Forcht — a Corbin businessman who has given more than $1 million to Republican candidates and political groups over the past decade — sent two letters to Bevin urging a pardon for Baker.
Legislators from both parties have called for state and federal investigations, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he thought some of the pardons were “completely inappropriate.”
In the Dec. 14 interview, Bevin said he welcomes a federal investigation of his pardons, predicting it could lead to the criminal conviction of some criticizing his pardons or those involved in the cases
Fuckin’ deep state in KY!
Did I mention for the umpteenth time that the prosecutor and judge in the Baker case are Republicans? I just cannot recall a Governor of Kentucky who has gone out of his way to attack members of his own party this cavalierly. And as for the “sketchy” evidence against Baker, here is some of what was presented at his trial:
Disputed facts in Baker case
At the Tuesday press conference, Elliot Slosar, Baker's attorney, said physical evidence and eyewitness testimony from the scene of Mills' killing should have been enough to prove his client's innocence.
But Sanders told The Courier Journal that Slosar was overstating his case and neglecting other “overwhelming” evidence of Baker's guilt.
Slosar told reporters the DNA on the handcuffs at the crime scene did not belong to Baker. He also said eyewitness testimony from Mills' family described the killer as having brown eyes and a tattoo on this arm — ruling out the blue-eyed Baker, who has no tattoos.
He mentioned he had identified an “alternative suspect” who fit those descriptions and may be the real killer. Three people took part in the Mills' home invasion and all were sent to prison, but while Slosar said his “alternative suspect” is currently incarcerated, it is not one of the co-conspirators convicted along with this client.
Sanders said the DNA evidence on the handcuffs did not remove Baker as a suspect because it “could have just as easily been from someone that actually manufactured the handcuffs.”
He said the jury was shown video of Baker using his credit card to purchase those same handcuffs at a Dollar General store the night before the murder.
A statement from Steele, the prosecutor, responding to Bevin's pardon, noted that Christopher Wagner — who was the second man who posed as a marshal to enter Mills' home — was seen in this video with Baker when he purchased the handcuffs.
Sanders said the gun used to shoot Mills matched the serial number on a manufacturer's box for the gun found at Baker's residence, and pings from Baker's cellphone show it was near Mills home at the time he was killed.
As a reminder, the other two guys convicted in this case are still in prison.
Bevin has some bones to pick with his fellow Republicans, and he won’t go away. Democrats will show any and all video of Republicans supporting Bevin in next year’s state elections for House and Senate. Even in this redstate, pardoning child rapists and taking payoffs for pardons will not go over with Kentucky voters.
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