"Matt Bevin" by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

Kentucky’s ex-governor pardoned a child rapist because the 9-year-old victim’s hymen was intact

Dec 20, 2019

By Antonia Noori Farzan

When the Louisville Courier-Journal revealed earlier this month that former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin (R) had pardoned a slew of violent criminals during his final weeks in office, he cited his belief in second chances.

But on Thursday, Bevin offered a different explanation for one particularly controversial pardon: He said he didn’t believe that a 9-year-old girl was raped, because her hymen was intact.

“There was zero evidence,” Bevin told talk-radio host Terry Meiners of WHAS.

Already under fire for handing out pardons to relatives of his supporters, Bevin is now facing an onslaught of criticism from medical and forensic experts. Scientists have debunked the notion that inspecting an alleged victim’s hymen can prove whether they were sexually assaulted, and found that most survivors of child sexual abuse do not have any physical damage. George Nichols, an expert in evaluating child abuse who also served as Kentucky’s chief medical examiner for 20 years, told the Courier-Journal on Thursday that Bevin “clearly doesn’t know medicine and anatomy.”

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