Violent Criminals Pardoned By Kentucky's Ex-Governor Could Face Federal Charges
U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman is currently looking into the inmates pardoned by former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin to determine if any also committed federal crimes, according to local CBS News affiliate WYMT.
The news station reported that Coleman announced on Monday that his office will investigate the “underlying conduct” in the pardons Bevin issued to ascertain whether federal charges would be appropriate.
Bevin came under fire in recent weeks for issuing a slew of pardons to violent offenders in the state, including at least one child rapist.
“I will say this in regard to the underlying conduct in these pardons that were received ... if the underlying conduct took place in the Western District of Kentucky, it will be treated like any other violation of federal law,” Coleman said during a press conference. “We’ll look at it through the lens of the statute of limitations, we’ll look at it through the lens of double jeopardy. But if the underlying conduct meets our federal standards, we will aggressively prosecute.”
One of the more than 600 pardons Bevin doled out drew particular outrage, the news outlet noted, which involved the former governor showcases his lack of knowledge about child sexual abuse.
During an interview with Louisville radio host Terry Meiners, Bevin addressed his pardon for Micah Schoettle — “a man sentenced in Kenton County in 2018 to 23 years in prison for the rape of a 9-year-old” — saying he did not believe the child was raped.
“There was zero evidence, zero. Both their hymens were intact. This is perhaps more specific than people would want,” Bevin said, defying well-documented research showing that there is often no physical damage from child sexual assault.
“I will always consider the rights and feelings of our victims,” Governor Andy Beshear said in response to his predecessor’s actions. “I will never pardon a violent crime without talking to a victim or their family first. That’s the very least that we ought to do, especially in some of those circumstances. And you will never see me talk about a child in the way that this governor just recently did.”