LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin commuted 428 sentences before leaving office on Dec. 9. Among those pardoned: convicted child rapist Micah Schoettle, who was sentenced in 2018 to 23 years in prison for raping a 9-year-old girl in Kenton County, Kentucky. 

Bevin freed Schoettle, 41, less than 18 months into his sentence because the former governor said the case relied more on testimony than physical evidence. A jury found Schoettle guilty in August 2018 of nine charges dating back to November 2016: first-degree rape of a victim under 12 years old, three counts of incest with a victim under 12 years old, two counts of first-degree sodomy with a victim under 12 years old and three counts of sexual abuse of a victim under 12 years old. 

The girl's mother is furious with Bevin's decision to pardon Schoettle. 

"It feels like we're going through it all over again," she said. "We just got to the point where we felt safe leaving the house."

Rob Sanders, the Commonwealth's Attorney for Kenton County, said Bevin pardoning Schoettle "shocks the conscience."

"It's offensive. It's mind boggling how any governor could be this irresponsible," he said. "It's an abomination of the criminal justice system." 

Bevin, in a Twitter thread defending his pardons Friday afternoon, said "no community is either more or less safe now, than it was before the pardons and commutations given over the past four years."

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