Additional security footage shows group filming distraught Doe after testimony

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports

Idaho Reports has received additional security camera footage showing a confrontation between Jane Doe and three women who filmed her after her April 28th testimony in front of the House Ethics Committee.

After Doe’s testimony, during which the 19-year-old intern told the committee former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger raped her, she was followed in the hallway by three women who filmed her on their cell phones, despite being asked repeatedly to stop.

Von Ehlinger has maintained his interaction with Doe was consensual. He resigned on Thursday after the House Ethics Committee voted to recommend censure.

Idaho Reports made two public records requests for statehouse security footage following the confrontation; The first for video from the Capitol basement, where the hearing took place, and the second request for footage from the first floor, where Doe and her attorneys fled. The Department of Administration fulfilled the first request on April 28th, and the second request on May 4. (Read our first story, published April 30, here.)

The Department of Administration blurred Doe’s face from the video before its release. Idaho Reports chose to further blur her image to ensure no identifying details were in the video we posted. Idaho Reports does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault. 

The security footage from the first floor shows the majority of the confrontation. At 11:18 am, Jane Doe and her attorneys exit the stairwell from the basement and walk toward the doors. The first floor security camera cuts away briefly and doesn’t capture the moment the second group catches up to them.

When the camera pivots back, Doe’s attorneys are using a black umbrella and their bodies to shield her from three women, including CBS2 reporter Emri Moore, who are trying to film her with cell phone cameras. Doe, who is visibly distraught in the unedited video, falls to the ground and stays there for a few minutes. Other bystanders arrive seconds later and put themselves between Doe and the women with cell phone cameras, who all continue filming and occasionally try to get closer to Doe. 

Less than a minute later, the first security guard arrives. Idaho State Police troopers arrive just after that, with some talking to Doe’s attorneys, and others talking to the women who are filming. More bystanders arrive and try to get the three women to stop filming.

Moore moves out of the hallway at 10:22, and at 10:23, the two other women who pursued Doe head back to the stairwell, with bystanders and ISP troopers following them. Doe, still visibly distraught in the unedited video, then stands up with the help of her attorneys, and ISP troopers escort the group outside. 

Footage from the basement, provided to Idaho Reports last week, shows the three women who pursued Doe and her attorneys return to the hall outside of the Lincoln Auditorium, where the hearing continued until 11:30 am. After the committee recesses for lunch, Moore gave one of the other women a hug.

In the lead-up to last week’s committee hearing, Doe faced online harassment by von Ehlinger supporters. At least two far-right websites published her name and photo; One of those link was included in an April 17 newsletter sent out by Rep. Priscilla Giddings, which she linked to again in a follow-up newsletter sent out on April 25.

Last week, Annie Hightower, one of Doe’s attorneys, confirmed to Idaho Reports that she is the woman holding the black umbrella to shield Doe from the cameras. One bystander, Karen Smith of Boise, told the Associated Press she attended the hearing to support Doe, and followed Doe and her attorneys to help after hearing Doe scream during the first confrontation in the basement. 

During Thursday’s House Ethics Committee hearing, members admonished those who harassed and followed Doe. Rep. Wendy Horman pointed out the committee had gone to great lengths to protect her identity, and Rep. John Gannon said those who harassed her should be considered for prosecution for witness intimidation.

On Thursday, CBS2 issued a statement saying none of Moore’s footage aired publicly. 

“The CBS2 family is committed in the belief that all victims deserve to be listened to and shown respect, and we apologize to this oversight,” the statement said, adding that they were addressing it with Moore internally. (Full disclosure: On Thursday, the Capitol Correspondents Association standing committee voted unanimously to revoke Moore’s statehouse credentials after the incident. I am one of the five members on that committee.) 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: