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After found guilty of rape, former Idaho lawmaker wants new trial or acquittal

Alex Brizee, The Idaho Statesman on

Published in News & Features

BOISE, Idaho — Former Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, who was convicted of rape in April, has requested for his case to be acquitted or retried, according to court documents obtained by The Idaho Statesman.

Boise-based attorney Jon Cox, who is representing the former Lewiston lawmaker, filed a motion last week that said that there was insufficient evidence to convict von Ehlinger. The Idaho Press first reported on the motion.

Von Ehlinger was found guilty of raping a legislative intern by a 12-person jury in April. The former intern, 19 at the time of the sexual assault, said he forced himself on her at his apartment after they had dinner.

Von Ehlinger was booked into the Ada County Jail after the verdict. He could face anywhere from one year to life in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender. His sentencing is scheduled for July 28.

The 39-year-old has repeatedly denied the accusations against him and maintained that he had consensual sex with the accuser, identified by the initials J.V. in court. Von Ehlinger, a Juliaetta resident, resigned from the Idaho House last year just hours after a legislative ethics committee unanimously recommended to expel the Republican from his seat.

Von Ehlinger and Cox are anticipating they will present new evidence, according to the motion. A hearing has been set for June 13, according to online court records.


In a separate motion filed last week, von Ehlinger asked to be released from jail without bond, pending further court hearings. Von Ehlinger, within the motion, said he will abide by any “restrictions, conditions or prohibitions” if released and is prepared to surrender his passport.

The motion alleged von Ehlinger does not have any other criminal history. The Lewiston Tribune reported that von Ehlinger was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in 2011, along with other misdemeanors. The prior charges were pardoned by the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Paroles in 2021.

Additionally, the motion said that while von Ehlinger has paid for a private attorney, he is “unable to pay for ongoing representation.” Cox is representing him on a pro bono basis, according to the motion.

Cox did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.


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