After 11 hours of deliberation, a jury in Idaho found it shameful Former Idaho Republican Representative, Aaron von Illinger Guilty of raping a 19-year-old intern last year after a dinner date.
The decision followed a grueling three-day trial in which von Illinger vehemently disputed the allegations, insisting the meeting was consensual, and the accused, who testified under the pseudonym Jane Doe, fled the courtroom midway through her emotional testimony.
Her dramatic exit completely destroyed her testimony, presenting a seemingly insurmountable obstacle for prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys. David B. Shapiro He said before pronouncing the verdict.
“It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a conviction without her testimony,” Shapiro, who was not involved in the case but has handled several similar cases, predicted to The Daily Beast.
But the jury was able to hear strong testimony from Doe’s mother, as well as a hospital nurse who examined Doe in the aftermath of the attack, finding their statements credible enough to convict the failed politician.
On the podium, von Illinger, 39, said he met Doe while working at the Idaho Statehouse and the pair had conversations in the aisles and text before arranging to go out to dinner at the Boise Restaurant. He said the date went “well” and Doe escorted him home afterward. He claimed that Doe held his hand on the journey back to his apartment, and that she willingly escorted him to his bedroom.
Von Illinger testified: “I complimented her, told her how beautiful she was… She never once gave me any indication that she didn’t want to be involved in this.”
He claimed that Doe “willingly” had oral sex with him for about 15 seconds before stopping and saying it “may not have been a good night for sex” because she did not shave and was not on birth control. He claimed that he then manually stimulated himself and landed on Doe’s stomach with her consent.
Conversely, Prosecutor Catelyn Farley said Von Ellinger told Doe that he needed to stop at his apartment after dinner to pick up something, and once they arrived, he picked her up and carried her to his bedroom. Farley said von Illinger assaulted her, forced his penis into her mouth and grabbed her arms as he lowered it onto her stomach.
He did not stop and did not listen [Doe]Farley before the jury, describing the case as one characterized by the indifference of ‘power’.
On Thursday, Von Ellinger’s attorney, John Cox, argued that his client, an Army vet, previously injured his back in a service-related helicopter crash and could not lift and carry Doe as prescribed.
But the nurse who treated Doe at a local hospital said in her emotional testimony that the teen was nothing less than an unwilling participant.
Anne Wardle, who had a rape test, said Doe was in tears when she recounted the experience: “She didn’t want to be there.” “She didn’t want his penis anywhere near her mouth.”
Wardle said Doe, who had previously volunteered at a domestic violence advocacy center, had a “goose egg” on her head from hitting a von Illinger wall or waving her head as she struggled to break up.
On Wednesday, Doe briefly took the stage but suddenly got up and left the courtroom after visibly struggling to settle in front of her alleged attacker. “I can’t do this,” she said, before withdrawing from the courtroom.
Doe has been targeted by fellow Republicans von Ehlinger from the start. Last August, Republican Representative Priscilla Giddings Du’s identity revealed on social media And in an email to voters, right-wing bloggers later posted her name and photo online.
Von Illinger, who resigned from state politics shortly before his arrest, faces life imprisonment and mandatory registration as a sex offender.