Former Idaho legislator found guilty of raping an intern 2022-04-30 04:30:33

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Boise, Idaho – ex Idaho The deputy was convicted Friday rape 19-year-old legislative intern after a tragic trial in which the young woman ran away from the witness stand while giving testimony saying “I can’t do that”.

The intern told a supervisor at the State House that Aaron von Ellinger raped her in his apartment after the two had dinner at the Boys’ Restaurant in March 2021. Von Ellinger said the sex was consensual.

At the time, the Lewiston Republican was a state representativebut later Resigned.

Von Illinger, 39, was convicted on Friday of rape. Has proven innocence of penetration something strange.

Von Illinger sat quietly while reading the verdict, as he had done throughout the trial.

Next, Fourth Circuit Judge Michael Reardon told the jury, “This has been an unusual case that has seen many unexpected circumstances, but I appreciate your concern…and your hard work.”

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Former Idaho Representative Aaron von Illinger testifies on his behalf during the third day of his rape trial in Ada County Courthouse, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Boise, Idaho.  (Brian Merrick/The Idaho Press-Tribune via AP, Pool)

Former Idaho Representative Aaron von Illinger testifies on his behalf during the third day of his rape trial in Ada County Courthouse, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Boise, Idaho. (Brian Merrick/The Idaho Press-Tribune via AP, Pool)
(Brian Merrick/The Idaho Press-Tribune via AP, Pool)

A conviction for the felony of rape is punishable by imprisonment for at least one year in Idaho. The maximum penalty can be up to life imprisonment, at the discretion of the judge. Sentencing has been set for July 28.

When von Illinger was taken into custody and handcuffed, he spoke quietly with his attorney, who removed the items from von Illinger’s pockets.

Former Idaho Representative Aaron von Illinger has been removed from court after being convicted of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern in Boise, Idaho, Friday, April 29, 2022, after a tragic trial during which the young woman escaped as the witness standing in testimony said "I can not do it."

Former Idaho Representative Aaron von Illinger has been removed from court after being convicted of raping a 19-year-old legislature intern in Boise, Idaho, Friday, April 29, 2022, after a tragic trial in which the young woman ran away as a witness stood while testifying saying, I can not do that”.
((James Dawson/Boise State Public Radio, Pool via AP))

The prosecution remained rigid as they left the courtroom, but as soon as they reached the basement they stopped briefly to congratulate each other on the verdict.

Von Illinger’s attorney, John Cox, was not immediately available for comment after the trial.

The Associated Press does not generally identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted, and has referred to the woman in this case as “Jane Doe” at her request.

At a news conference, Ada County District Attorney Jan Bennetts thanked the jury, investigators and prosecutors who handled the case.

“Last but not least, it took an incredible amount of courage for victim Jane Doe to come forward,” Bennetts said. “I want to acknowledge the courage you took to come forward.”

Doe testified on the second day of the trial. She hesitantly described the moments when the alleged assault began, before suddenly leaving the witness stand.

“He tried to put his fingers between my legs and my knees closed,” Doe said.

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At that time, I stood up.

“I can’t do this,” she said as she quickly walked out of the courtroom.

Deputy Attorney General Caitlin Farley meets a colleague during a testimony break on the second day of the rape trial of former Idaho State Representative Aaron von Illinger in Ada County Courthouse, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, in Boise, Idaho.  (Brian Merrick/The Idaho Press-Tribune via AP, Pool)

Deputy Attorney General Caitlin Farley meets a colleague during a testimony break on the second day of the rape trial of former Idaho State Representative Aaron von Illinger in Ada County Courthouse, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, in Boise, Idaho. (Brian Merrick/The Idaho Press-Tribune via AP, Pool)
(Brian Merrick/The Idaho Press-Tribune via AP, Pool)

The judge gave prosecutors 10 minutes to find her to determine if she would return and resume her testimony.

And when she didn’t, the judge told the jurors they had to “whip (Doo’s testimony) out of your mind as if it never happened,” because the defense couldn’t cross-examine her.

During the press conference, Deputy Attorney General Caitlin Farley said the moment Doe left the trial was “painful,” but said she and Deputy Attorney General Whitney Welch prepared for trial knowing Doe may not be able to testify.

“I think it was important that she decided to walk in the room, and she also decided to go out — those were her choices,” Welch said.

During his testimony on Thursday, von Illinger often spoke loudly and clearly directly to the jury, saying that he and Doe had decided to go back to his apartment to “hang out” after dining at a fancy restaurant from Boise. Then they started sitting on the sofa, he said.

“Things were going well,” said von Illinger, “and I asked (Doe) if she’d like to move into the bedroom.” “Sure she said. We got up, clasped our hands, and went into the bedroom.”

The deliberations lasted seven hours until about 8 p.m. Thursday before the jury decided to rest for the night. At one point, the judge summoned the attorneys to his room because the jury had asked a question. No details of the jury’s investigation have been made public.

When the allegations became public – in large part due to a legislative ethics investigation – Du . faced Relentless harassment Some of von Illinger’s supporters. Her name, photo, and details of her personal life were repeatedly publicized in “investigation” incidents. One of the people who repeatedly harassed her was in the courtroom to attend the trial, but law enforcement authorities prevented the man from sitting on the floor where the case is being heard.

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During closing arguments, Farley told the jurors that the case was about the “power in the wrong hands” used for Doe’s “great devastation.” Farley said von Illinger wielded social, political, and physical power over the young apprentice.

“He used this force to rape and forcibly penetrate her,” Farley said, referring to von Illinger. Doe resisted in a number of ways, she said, highlighting the testimony of law enforcement investigators and the sexual assault nurse who interrogated Doe after the alleged assault.

“Words show disapproval,” Farley said. “Excuses ‘why this shouldn’t happen’ show disapproval. Pulling your head back and hitting shows disapproval.”

But von Illinger’s lawyer told jurors that the prosecution’s case consisted of a “red herring,” and said von Illinger was a credible person who willingly took the stand to share his side of the story.

Investigators and the nurse who took the sexual assault test testified earlier this week. They said Doe reported fixing her while von Illinger forced her to have oral sex, and that she knew he often carried a gun and put it on a dresser near the bed at the time of the assault. The nurse also testified that Doe was carrying a “goose egg” to the back of her head as a result of it hitting a wall or headboard while trying to keep her head out of Von Illinger’s grasp.

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