A former Idaho legislator was convicted of raping a young person that interned on the statehouse following a dramatic trial the place the sufferer walked off the witness stand.
A jury discovered that Aaron von Ehlinger, 39, was responsible of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern at his condominium after consuming dinner along with her at a Boise restaurant final March.
Von Ehlinger, a Republican who stepped down from his publish as a Lewiston consultant a month after being accused, was discovered not responsible of sexual penetration with a overseas object. He maintained the encounter was consensual.
The previous lawmaker faces a minimal of 1 yr in jail and as much as life behind bars at his sentencing, scheduled for July.
His nameless accuser took the stand in the course of the second day of the trial earlier than abruptly altering her thoughts.
“He tried to place his fingers between my legs and I closed my knees,” she mentioned, earlier than standing up.
“I can’t do that,” she mentioned earlier than briskly leaving the courtroom.
When she didn’t return, her testimony was stricken from the file as a result of the protection didn’t have the possibility to cross-examine her.
Von Ehlinger faces as much as life in jail at his sentencing in July.James Dawson/Boise State Public Radio, Pool through AP
Prosecutors praised the younger lady’s bravery at a press convention after the trial.
“It took an unbelievable quantity of braveness for the sufferer on this case, Jane Doe, to return ahead,” Ada County Prosecuting Legal professional Jan Bennetts mentioned.
“I wish to acknowledge the braveness that she took in coming ahead.”
Von Ehlinger remained calm when the decision was learn following seven hours of deliberation. He had advised the jury he requested the intern to “hang around” following dinner at a flowery restaurant and mentioned they ended up making out at his condominium.
“Issues have been going properly, and I requested (Doe) if she wish to transfer to the bed room,” von Ehlinger mentioned. “She mentioned ‘Certain.’ We obtained up, held palms and walked into the bed room.”
Prosecutors argued the then-representative abused “social, political and bodily energy over the petite intern.”
“He used that energy to rape and forcibly penetrate her,” Deputy Prosecuting Legal professional Katelyn Farley advised the jury throughout closing arguments.
A nurse testified that the teenager suffered a “goose egg” on the again of her head when she hit it making an attempt to flee from von Ehlinger, who she mentioned pinned her down and compelled her to carry out oral intercourse whereas displaying his gun on a dresser close to his mattress.
Protection legal professionals argued the prosecution’s case was stuffed with “crimson herrings,” and mentioned von Ehlinger’s testimony was credible.
One other former staffer and a lobbyist and advised a Boise ethics committee that von Ehlinger’s makes an attempt at flirting had made them “uncomfortable” final April.
Publicity from the legislative investigation into the Republican’s conduct led to the accuser being doxxed on-line by a few of his political supporters. One in every of her harassers tried to attend the trial however was saved out of the courtroom.
With AP wires