The trial of former State Representative Aaron von Ehlinger will begin next week.
Von Ehlinger has been charged with felony rape and penetration with a foreign object. If convicted, Von Ehlinger could be sentenced to life in prison.
Von Ehlinger had been a legislator for less than one year when the accusation came forward by a volunteer staffer at the Idaho capitol building.
Boise Police said they had begun an investigation into the matter after the Attorney General’s office notified them of what the staffer was alleging. However, the case was closed down shortly after, presumably at the accuser’s request.
Neither Von Ehlinger nor the alleged victim has disputed that the two had dinner together and went back to Von Ehlinger’s apartment. Von Ehlinger says that the two had consensual contact, while the alleged victim says she did not consent and that Von Ehlinger forced her to perform oral sex.
After BPD closed down the investigation, Idaho’s House leadership began an ethics investigation into the matter.
In late April, Von Ehlinger resigned from office after the House Ethics Committee recommended him being removed from the capitol building for the remainder of the legislative session. The committee also recommended that Von Ehlinger not be allowed back this year either.
Von Ehlinger insisted he was innocent of any wrongdoing. During the ethics investigation, Von Ehlinger took three polygraphs with the polygraph examiner stating Von Ehlinger was being truthful. However, it should be noted that polygraphs are not admissible in court, and their accuracy is disputed.
Von Ehlinger has pleaded “not guilty” to both charges.
Tags: Aaron von Ehlinger, Idaho Legislature, Polygraph, Rape, Trial