Former Kentucky governor pardons convicted child rapist

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (CNN) - In one of his last acts in the position, former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned Micah Schoettle, a man convicted of raping a child.

Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speaks with reporters as he conceded the gubernatorial race to democrat Andy Beshear in Frankfort, Ky., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (Source: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Instead of serving the 23 year sentence, he is now free after less than 18 months in prison. He was released on Wednesday.

“It feels like we’re going through this all over again. We just got to the point where we felt safe leaving the house," said the mother of Schoettle’s victim.

She was 9 years old when the abuse began.

“She doesn’t understand the whole legal process on why somebody that did something like this could be released and not punished at all,” the mother said.

Kenton County prosecutor Rob Sanders criticized the governor’s position.

“It shocks the conscience. It’s offensive. It’s mind-boggling how any governor could be this irresponsible. It’s an abomination of the criminal system,” Sanders said.

Bevin wrote that the prosecutor’s case relied more on testimony over physical evidence, but Sanders said that the governor’s office never contacted prosecutors, victims or local law enforcement about clemency for Schoettle.

“Prosecutors all across Kentucky today are disgusted with Matt Bevin, offended by Matt Bevin and rightfully so and there are victims that have been victimized again,” Sanders said.

The victim’s mother said that from her daughter’s experiences, she knows Schoettle is violent.

This pardon was just one of 428 sentences commuted by Bevin before he left office earlier this week.

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