A former Idaho lawmaker is facing prison time after one of his interns claimed he sexually assaulted her after luring her to his apartment on what the Associated Press described as “false pretenses.”
The AP reported Friday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Aaron von Ehlinger, a Republican who was serving his first term in the Idaho House of Representatives before he stepped down earlier this year.
The incident dates back to March of this year, when the intern, a 19-year-old woman, says von Ehlinger lured her to his apartment following a dinner the two attended and raped her.
Soon after, the intern reported the incident to both law enforcement and legislative leadership, and she stood her ground despite heckling from von Ehlinger’s supporters in a subsequent hearing in the state House Ethics Committee, the AP reported.
The first-term GOP lawmaker later resigned after the committee found he engaged in “unbecoming” behavior, the AP said. The committee also recommended censuring him and ousting him from the body.
“We have a responsibility to this state, we have a responsibility to this institution, to all those that came before us and…to all those that come after us, a responsibility to uphold a good public perception of this institution, to continue confidence in government, not to undermine that confidence,” said Committee Chairman Sage Dixon, a Republican, according to the Idaho Press.
“Whether we like it or not, in the public eye we are held to a higher standard,” Dixon added. “We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of conduct. In my opinion there was clearly conduct unbecoming by the representative in this case.”
That was five months ago.
Just this month, an attorney filed a legal claim on the young woman’s behalf, the AP noted, but it remains unclear what could become of it.
In the meantime, von Ehlinger is facing arrest on charges of rape and sexual penetration with a foreign object, the AP said.
Throughout all of this, von Ehlinger has maintained his innocence and claimed that the sexual acts that occurred between himself and the young woman were consensual in nature.
Reports have yet to indicate whether von Ehlinger has been arrested or when his first court appearance will be.