Former legislator accused of rape arrested in Georgia

Former Rep. Aaron Von Ehlinger

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports

Authorities arrested former legislator Aaron Von Ehlinger, who is accused of raping a legislative intern, in Clayton County, Georgia.

A warrant was issued for Von Ehlinger’s arrest on Sept. 9 in Ada County on charges accusing him of rape and sexual penetration with a foreign object. He was booked into Clayton County jail on Sept. 25.

Von Ehlinger appeared before a Georgia judge on Monday, where bond was considered but denied, according to court records. He is being held at the Clayton County Jail and will be extradited back to Ada County for hearings on the felony charges.

Von Ehlinger, 39, of Lewiston, resigned after a House Ethics Committee hearing in April. The public hearing occurred after the victim reported the alleged incident to police and her supervisor at the capitol.

After hearing testimony, the committee members unanimously recommended to censure and immediately suspend Von Ehlinger. He resigned from his seat just a few hours after the committee vote.

Von Ehlinger was also accused of sexually harassing other women who worked in the statehouse. The victim of the alleged rape, a 19-year-old woman, testified in the hearing.

Idaho Reports does not disclose the names of sexual assault victims.

Von Ehlinger’s next court date has not been scheduled yet, but he remains in law enforcement custody.

Earlier this month, the former intern filed a tort claim against the Idaho Legislature, the first step in a civil litigation process.

Among other claims made in the tort are a violation of the Respectful Workplace Policy of the Idaho Legislative Branch. 

The claim alleges “The legislature knew or should have known about a pattern of sexually inappropriate and/or gender-based behaviors perpetrated by elected officials on females working at the legislature/conducting legislative business at the legislature. The legislature, including members in leadership, knew that Von Ehlinger had engaged in inappropriate behavior with young women whom he worked with or had contact with via his work as an elected official.”

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