Former Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger guilty of rape

Aaron von Ehlinger. Photo:

May 1 (UPI) — An Idaho jury has found former state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger guilty of raping a legislative intern last year.

The jury came to its decision after 11 hours of deliberation, also finding von Ehlinger, 39, not guilty of a separate charge of forcible penetration, KTVB-TV in Boise, Idaho, reported.

The victim, identified by the initials J.V., testified the then-lawmaker forced himself on her after dinner at his apartment. She was 19 at the time of the assault.

Judge Michael Reardon instructed the jury not to consider the victim’s testimony in their deliberations because she abruptly left the courtroom in the middle of answering questions from prosecutors.

“I can’t do this,” she said after describing part of the assault.

Reardon said that since the defense couldn’t cross-examine her, her testimony had to be stricken, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Von Ehlinger denied the accusations, saying the two had a consensual relationship.

Von Ehlinger, who was taken into custody after the verdict was read Friday, faces up to life in prison during his sentencing July 28. He also must register as a sex offender.

Ada County prosecutor Jan Bennetts praised the verdict in a news conference after it was read.

“Victims can be believed,” she said.

Von Ehlinger resigned from the Idaho House last year after the legislative ethics committee voted to remove him from his seat.


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