Republican Former Idaho State Rep. Found Guilty Of Raping Intern

“,”type”:”video”,”meta”:{“url”:””,”type”:”video”,”version”:”1.0″,”title”:”Jury finds Aaron von Ehlinger guilty of rape: full verdict”,”author”:”KTVB”,”author_url”:””,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”description”:”The jury in the trial of Aaron von Ehlinger found him guilty of rape on Friday after deliberating for roughly 11 hours.rnrnThe jury found him not guilty of forcible penetration.rnrnJurors began their second day of deliberations Friday in the trial of the former Idaho state representative accused of raping an intern who worked at the Capitol during the 2021 legislative session. rnrnAaron von Ehlinger, 39, was charged with felony counts of rape and forcible sexual penetration.nnHis sentencing is scheduled for July 28. The maximum penalty is live in prison.nnThe 19-year-old intern told police that von Ehlinger forced her to perform oral sex and penetrated her with his finger – despite her telling him “no” and saying she did not want to – after the pair went out on a date in March 2021. nnVon Ehlinger, who took the stand in his own defense Thursday, said the sexual encounter was consensual and that Jane Doe was a willing participant. nnThe prosecution called Jane Doe to the stand as well, but she bolted from the courtroom mid-testimony, prompting Judge Michael Reardon to instruct the jury that they could not consider anything she said as they decide their verdict. nnProsecutors have argued that von Ehlinger wielded his power and influence over the young woman to devastating effect, and that his version of what happened inside the apartment that night is a lie. Prosecutor Katelyn Farley urged jurors to consider an injury to Jane Doe’s head she said she received when trying to pull away from von Ehlinger, as well as think about why Jane Doe sought out a sexual assault examination and told her mother, another Statehouse employee, and the police that she had been raped.nnThe defense has said that there was no power differential between von Ehlinger and the intern, that there is no evidence the encounter was anything but consensual, and that the prosecution has fallen far short of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt. nnVon Ehlinger, a Republican from Latah County, resigned from his seat in the Legislature in April 2021 after an ethics committee found that he had acted improperly in romantically pursuing the intern and several other women who worked at the Capitol. nnThe case was handed to the jury just before 1 p.m. Thursday, and they deliberated for seven hours before heading home for the night.”,”thumbnail_url”:””,”thumbnail_width”:480,”thumbnail_height”:360,”cache_age”:86400,”options”:{“_start”:{“label”:”Start from”,”value”:””,”placeholder”:”ex.: 11, 1m10s”},”_end”:{“label”:”End on”,”value”:””,”placeholder”:”ex.: 11, 1m10s”},”_cc_load_policy”:{“label”:”Closed captions”,”value”:false},”click_to_play”:{“label”:”Hold load & play until clicked”,”value”:false}}},”fullBleed”:false,”flags”:[],”enhancements”:{},”options”:{“theme”:”news”,”device”:”desktop”,”editionInfo”:{“id”:”us”,”name”:”U.S.”,”link”:””,”locale”:”en_US”},”slideshowAd”:{“scriptTags”:[],”otherHtml”:””},”slideshowEndCard”:{“scriptTags”:[{“attribs”:{},”scriptBody”:”rn (function(){rn var c = document.getElementById(‘taboola-endslate-thumbnails’);rn += ‘-‘ + Math.round(Math.random()*1e16);rn rn var taboolaParams = {rn loader: “//”,rn mode: “thumbnails-b”,rn container:,rn placement: “Endslate Thumbnails”,rn target_type: “mix”rn };rn rn if (typeof window.modulousQueue === “function”) {rn twindow.modulousQueue.add(function(){ doTaboola(taboolaParams); });rn } else {rn tdoTaboola(taboolaParams);rn }rn }());rn”}],”otherHtml”:”


BOISE, IDAHO (AP) – A former Idaho lawmaker was convicted Friday of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern after a dramatic trial in which the young woman fled the witness stand during a testimony, saying “I can’t do this.”

The intern told the Statehouse supervisor that Aaron von Ehlinger raped her at his apartment after the two had dinner at a Boise restaurant in March 2021. Von Ehlinger said the sex was consensual.

At the time, the Lewiston Republican was serving as a state representative, but he later resigned. Von Ehlinger, 39, was found guilty Friday of rape. He was found not guilty of sexual penetration with a foreign object.

Von Ehlinger sat calmly as the verdict was read, as he has throughout the trial.

Former Idaho State Rep.  Aaron von Ehlinger was convicted of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern after a dramatic trial in which the young woman fled the witness stand during testimony, saying “I can’t do this.
Former Idaho State Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger was convicted of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern after a dramatic trial in which the young woman fled the witness stand during testimony, saying “I can’t do this.”

Afterward, 4th District Judge Michael Reardon told the jury: “This has been an unusual case attended by many unexpected circumstances, but I appreciate your attention … and hard work.”

The felony rape conviction carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison in Idaho. The maximum penalty can be as high as life in prison, at the judge’s discretion. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 28.

As von Ehlinger was remanded into custody and handcuffed, he talked quietly with his attorney who removed items from von Ehlinger’s pockets.

The prosecution remained stoic as they left the courtroom, but once they reached a lower floor they stopped to briefly congratulate each other on the verdict.

Von Ehlinger’s attorney, Jon Cox, could not be immediately reached for comment after the trial. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted, and has referred to the woman in this case as “Jane Doe” at her request.

In a press conference, Ada County Prosecuting Attorney Jan Bennetts thanked the jury, investigators and prosecutors who handled the case.

“Last but not least, it took an incredible amount of courage for the victim in this case, Jane Doe, to come forward,” Bennetts said. “I want to acknowledge the courage that she took in coming forward.”

Doe tested on the second day of the trial. She haltingly described the moments the alleged assault began, before abruptly leaving the witness stand.

“He tried to put his fingers between my legs and I closed my knees,” Doe said.

“I can’t do this,” she said, quickly walking out of the courtroom.

The judge gave the prosecuting attorneys 10 minutes to find her to determine if she would return and resume her testimony.

When she did not, the judge told the jurors they had to “strike (Doe’s testimony) from your minds as if it never happened,” because the defense could not cross-examine her.

During the press conference, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katelyn Farley said the moment Doe left the trial was “heart-wrenching,” but she and deputy prosecutor Whitney Welsh had prepared for the trial knowing that Doe may not be able to testify.

“I think it’s important that she decided to walk in the room, and she also decided to walk out – those were her choices,” Welsh said.

During his testimony Thursday, von Ehlinger often spoke in a clear, loud voice directly to jurors, saying he and Doe decided to return to his apartment to “hang out” after eating at a fancy Boise restaurant. Then they started making out on the couch, they said.

“Things were going well, and I asked (Doe) if she would like to move to the bedroom,” von Ehlinger said. “She said ‘Sure.’ We got up, held hands and walked into the bedroom. ”

Deliberations stretched for seven hours until nearly 8 pm Thursday before the jury decided to break for the evening. At one point, the judge summoned the attorneys to his chambers because the jury asked a question. No details were made public about the jury’s inquiry.

When the allegations became public – largely because of the legislative ethics investigation – Doe faced unrelenting harassment from some of von Ehlinger’s supporters. Her name, photo and personal details about her life were repeatedly publicized in a “doxxing” incident. One of the people who frequently harassed her was in the courthouse to attend the trial, but law enforcement banned the man from the floor where the case was being heard.

During closing arguments, Farley told jurors that the case was about “power in the wrong hands” used to the “great devastation” of Doe. Von Ehlinger had social, political and physical power over the petite intern, Farley said.

“He used that power to rape and forcibly penetrate her,” Farley said, pointing at von Ehlinger. Doe resisted in several ways, she said, highlighting the testimony of law enforcement investigators and a nurse sexual assault examiner who interviewed Doe after the alleged assault.

“Words show lack of consent. Excuses of ‘Why this shouldn’t happen’ show lack of consent. Yanking your head back and getting an injury shows a lack of consent, ”Farley said.

But von Ehlinger’s attorney told jurors the prosecution’s case was made up of “red herrings,” and said von Ehlinger was a credible person who willingly took the stand to share his side of the story.

The investigators and the nurse who performed the sexual assault exam tested earlier this week. They said Doe reported being pinned down while von Ehlinger forced her to perform oral sex, and that she knew she often carried a handgun and had placed it on a dresser near the bed at the time of the assault. The nurse also tested that Doe had a “goose egg” on the back of her head from striking the wall or a headboard while trying to jerk her head away from von Ehlinger’s grip.