Things That Matter

Former Kentucky Governor Pardoned A Rapist Because His 9-Year-Old Victim’s Hymen Was Still Intact

Former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin, a devoted conservative who upholds proudly, his “pro-life” credentials, sparked lots of criticism for choosing to pardon hundreds of violent criminals during his last week in office. Lat week, during a radio interview with WHAS in Louisville he said that he pardoned a child rapist partly because the hymen of the 9-year-old victim was still intact.

Former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued hundreds of pardons just a few days ago.

In his final days in office, former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued hundreds of pardons and commutations to people he said he would not hesitate to welcome as neighbors, co-workers or members of his church. The pardons drew shock and outrage, not only because of the sheer number or apparent political motivations, but also because some involved violent criminals, including convicted murderers and rapists.

Bevin issued 428 pardons and commutations of sentences during his last days in office.

 Among those he pardoned was 41-year-old Micah Schoettle. On Sept. 14, 2016, a middle school student reported that she had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Schoettle beginning when she was 9 years old, according to a news releaseissued by the commonwealth attorney’s office at the time of the verdict. Following an investigation, he was arrested, and on May 29, 2018, Schoettle was convicted of rape, sexual abuse, sodomy, and other sexual offenses. The judge followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Schoettle to 23 years in prison.

Bevin, enraged critics when he said during a radio interview that he pardoned a child rapist partly because the hymen of the 9-year-old victim was still intact.

When Louisville WHAS radio host Terry Meiners asked Bevin about the pardon, the former governor focused on the lack of evidence from physical examinations of the victim and her sister. “Both their hymens were intact,” Bevin said. “This is perhaps more specific than people would want, but trust me, if you had been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically.”

In Thursday’s radio interview, host Terry Meiners grilled Bevin about his decision to pardon Schoettle.

“You’re the father of nine,” Meiners asked. Meiners then asked the former governor why he would pardon a convicted child rapist. “Which one though, because there were a couple of people that were accused of that whose sentences I commuted,” he said. When Meiners clarified that he was referring to Schoettle, Bevin said: ”This man was convicted purely on something that there’s no corroboration for,” Bevin said. “You should not be sent to jail based simply on the word and uncorroborated word of a single individual, especially when it is possible to verify that medically and physically.”

Expert studies show that Bevin’s claim is, in fact, incorrect.

His claim was made despite expert studies showing most child victims do not show evidence of physical damage and that examination of the tissue is not a reliable test of sexual activity. In fact, a 2012 study by the peer-reviewed journal Forensic Science International found that 90% of child victims don’t suffer physical damage from sexual abuse.

Retired Kentucky Chief Medical Examiner George Nichols told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Bevin “not only doesn’t know the law, in my humble opinion, he doesn’t know medicine and anatomy.”

“Rape is not proved by hymen penetration,” said Nichols, who started the child abuse evaluation system at Norton Children’s Hospital, formerly Kosair Children’s Hospital, in Louisville. “Rape is proved by phallic penetration…where the vaginal lips meet the outer surface of the vagina.” Nichols also told the Courier-Journal that he had worked for six consecutive governors as chief medical examiner, “and fortunately didn’t have to report to that asshole.”

“Essentially what he’s saying to pedophiles and people who would sexually abuse children is, ‘If you don’t cause an injury, you won’t be prosecuted because the only person that can tell what happened is the child,” Dr. James Crawford-Jakubiak, medical director of the Center for Child Protection at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, said of Bevin.

The FBI is now looking into the pardons issued by former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

The Louisville Courier Journal, citing two sources familiar with the matter, reported late Monday that an FBI agent had spoken with a Kentucky state representative, Rep. Chris Harris, about a criminal investigation into Bevin’s pardons. Bevin has received national criticism for pardoning or commuting the sentences of more than 650 people following his failed reelection bid in November.

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Golden State Killer Confesses To Rape And Murder, After Families Have Been Waiting For Decades

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Golden State Killer Confesses To Rape And Murder, After Families Have Been Waiting For Decades

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Although his crime spree took place more than thirty years ago, the Golden State Killer has only recently been held accountable for the unspeakable crimes he committed up and down the state of California.

Thanks to advancements in DNA testing, police found a suspect and this week the Golden State Killer confessed to dozens of crimes committed from Sacramento to San Diego.

His victim’s families have celebrated the move as a first step on the path towards justice for their loved ones.

One of California’s most prolific killers has pleased guilty to his crimes and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The Golden State Killer terrorized California for more than a decade, before his trail went cold. After being arrested in 2018 thanks to advancements in DNA testing, Joseph DeAngelo was charged with several crimes (including burglaries and murders) and named as the Golden State Killer.

Since his arrest, police have been building a case against him and this week charged him with additional crimes, for which he has pled guilty to on all counts. He pled guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances – including murder committed during burglaries and rapes -– as well as 13 counts of kidnapping, and he acknowledged more than 50 rapes he was not charged for because of California’s statute of limitations.

DeAngelo will be sentenced in August, and will kiley serve 11 consevutive life terms without the possibility of parole. According to Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday, he agreed to plead guilty to all charges to avoid the death penalty.

With his guilty plea, victim’s families will finally be able to face him in court and seek justice.

Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Some of the Golden State Killer’s victims, were raped or murdered as far back as 1974. So their families have been waiting for justice for decades.

After dozens of false leads and dead ends, the case was followed up on after advancements in DNA. And now, the Golden State Killer has been identified and charged with the crimes that have left dozens of families in untold pain.

The plea means that his victims can give their impact statements starting August 17 — much quicker than if he had gone to trial in a prosecution that the six district attorneys involved said might have taken as long as a decade.

“Today’s court proceeding brings us one step closer to ending the horrific saga of Joseph DeAngelo and his decades long crime spree,” Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said Monday in a news release. “In this case justice did not move swiftly, it was a long time coming. However, our victims remained steadfast and brave throughout this entire process.”

The Golden State Killer had a long crime spree and dozens of victims.

Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Although DeAngelo was just arrested in 2018, his crimes date back to 1974. He has admitted to burglaries, rapes, and murders ranging from northern to Southern California. He earned nicknames such as the Visalia Ransacker, the Diamond Knot Killer, the Original Night Stalker and the East Area Rapist. Officials only later realized the crimes were all the work of one man.

The former police officer, Vietnam War veteran and auto mechanic was arrested in April 2018 after police tracked him down by matching his DNA with a genealogy website.

Investigators created a family tree dating back to the 1800s in order to identify him as a suspect. Detectives followed him and collected a piece of rubbish he had thrown away, finding the same DNA recovered from several crime scenes.

Now, the Golden State Killer’s gripping crime story will be told in a six-part HBO series.

Just one day before DeAngelo pled guilty to all charges, HBO debuted a miniseries detailing his crimes and the victim’s stories. The series, based on author and researcher Michelle McNamara‘s own investigation, combines archives of footage and police files, as well as exclusive new interviews with detectives, survivors and relatives of DeAngelo.

McNamara remained focused on the victims of the crimes throughout her process, and she earned the right to “walk off with 37 boxes of Golden State Killer evidence, according to Assistant Orange County Public Defender Scott Sanders.

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Woman Alleges She And Two Other Women In ICE Custody Were Raped Hours Before Being Released And Deported

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Woman Alleges She And Two Other Women In ICE Custody Were Raped Hours Before Being Released And Deported

David McNew / Getty

The United States continues to detain migrants and refugees in detention centers across the country, despite a global health crisis that poses an immense risk to detainees. However, along with the threat of Covid-19 infection – longstanding abuses such as sexual assaults continue to happen inside detention centers.

One brave woman has come forward with her story about a sexual assault that happened at a detention facility outside Houston, Texas.

A federal lawsuit alleges that three women were sexually assaulted hours before being deported back to Mexico.

In a federal lawsuit that was filed on Wednesday, a Mexican woman, who was being held inside an immigration detention facility, said she was raped along with two other women. The woman, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, is suing CoreCivic – a major private prison company that operates several ICE detention facilities across the U.S.

While in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, the plaintiff said she and two other women were taken from their dorms and placed inside a dark small room. Around midnight, three men in street wear entered the cell and sexually assaulted all of the women. The attackers hit the women in the face, used brutal force and raped each of them.

Hours later, all three of the victims were put on buses and deported back to Mexico – without even being given the chance to shower after the attack.

“She was in a very vulnerable position,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer, Michelle Simpson Tuegel. “I don’t think by chance that these women were targeted on the eve of deportation, and that she was sexually assaulted right as she was being deported.”

“It wasn’t really a position where she had anyone or could do anything at that point,” Tuegel said. 

The woman said she became pregnant as a result of the rape.

The alleged attack occurred June 1, 2018. The plaintiff released a video statement detailing some of the alleged incident. In it, she reveals that shortly after returning to Mexico, she discovered that she was pregnant.

“I became pregnant as a result of the rape and am now the mother of a girl,” she said in the video. 

Attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel said that while the plaintiff loves her daughter regardless of how she came into the world, the mother suffered a difficult birth. 

“She conceived a child as a result of this rape and then had a pretty difficult…birth in a rural area of Mexico. She would not have had that, had it not been for this rape,” Simpson Tuegel said. 

Although ICE hasn’t commented on the lawsuit, they have defended the actions of their employees.

Credit: US DHS

ICE said in a statement that it does not comment on pending litigation, but said lack of comment should not be taken as agreement with any of the allegations.

“ICE employees and contractors are held to the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct,” the agency said. “Incidents of misconduct are treated with the utmost seriousness and investigated thoroughly. When substantiated, appropriate action is taken.”

Unfortunately, sexual assault and rape are extremely common in ICE detention centers.

Credit: Sally Whitfield / Getty

According to reporting done by The Intercept, between 2010 and 2017, there were 1,224 complaints involving sexual assault. Perhaps even more startling, is that of these more than 1,200 sexual assault allegations – only 43 were ever investigated.

It’s also important to note the extreme obstacles encountered by those wanting to report assaults – from fear and retaliation to outright lack of resources. These patterns suggest that sexual assault and harassment is ICE detention centers are not only widespread but systemic, enabled by an agency that regularly fails to hold itself accountable.

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