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Micah Schoettle

Other Kentucky exonerations
On September 14, 2016, police in Kenton County, Kentucky arrested 38-year-old Micah Schoettle after his 12-year-old daughter reported that he had been sexually assaulting her every Wednesday since she was nine years old.

Schoettle denied the accusation—and passed a lie detector test.

In August 2018, he went to trial in Kenton County Circuit Court. His daughter, by then 13 years old, testified that beginning at age nine and until she was 12, Schoettle raped her weekly and at times did so while her younger sister was in the same room. She also said that Schoettle sexually abused her younger sister.

The prosecution was allowed—for the first time in a Kentucky court—to present expert testimony relating to children who have been sexually abused. Schoettle’s daughter said that the abuse had stopped a few months earlier. The expert was allowed to testify that some children who are sexually abused delay making any outcry.

The defense contended that Schoettle’s daughter concocted her claims because she did not want to do chores around the family farm and because her cell phone had been taken away from her.

The defense was not allowed to present testimony from a physician who examined the girl and found evidence that the girl had not been raped. In addition, the defense was not allowed to call a psychologist who spoke to the girl after Schoettle brought her to him for counseling. The psychologist would have testified that she denied having sexual contact with Schoettle. In addition, the girl’s younger sister was not allowed to testify that she was not sexually abused and that Schoettle never sexually assaulted her sister while she was in the room.

On August 9, 2018, the jury convicted Schoettle of one count of rape, one count of sodomy, and two counts of sexual abuse. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

On December 9, 2019, out-going Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevins pardoned Schoettle along with more than 400 others and Schoettle was released.

The pardon said, “Micah Schoettle was tried and convicted of a heinous crime based only on testimony that was not supported by any physical evidence. In fact, any and all evidence that is available refutes the allegations that were made. This case was investigated and prosecuted in a manner that was sloppy at best. I do not believe that the charges against Mr. Schoettle are true.”

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/6/2020
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2016
Sentence:23 years
Age at the date of reported crime:35
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No