Judge denies trial delay for ex-legislator accused of rape

Ex-Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports

Fourth Judicial District Judge Michael Reardon denied a request Monday to delay the trial for a former Idaho legislator accused of two felony sex crimes connected to accusations from a 19-year-old legislative intern.

Reardon heard from the attorney for Aaron von Ehlinger, who is charged with rape and forcible penetration with a foreign object in Ada County. Defense attorney Jon Cox requested a continuance of the trial, meaning a delay, but Reardon denied the request.

The prosecution opposed Cox’s request, saying the victim involved wished to move forward as planned on April 26.

Von Ehlinger, 39, of Juliaetta, is not in jail custody and appeared virtually in court.

Trial is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. April 26 at the Ada County Courthouse. 

Von Ehlinger resigned from the legislature in 2021 after facing a public House ethics hearing in which the allegations were brought forward by the woman. At the time, he claimed all interactions with the woman were consensual. 

During his legislative hearing, von Ehlinger declined to answer questions about the night of the alleged rape.

If convicted, both charges von Ehlinger is accused of could be punishable by up to life in prison. 

<strong>Ruth Brown</strong> | Producer
Ruth Brown | Producer

Ruth Brown grew up in South Dakota and her first job out of college was covering the South Dakota Legislature. She’s since moved on to Idaho lawmakers. Brown spent 10 years working in print journalism, including newspapers such as the Idaho Statesman and Idaho Press, where she’s covered everything from the correctional system to health care issues. She joined Idaho Reports in 2021 and looks forward to telling stories about how state policy can impact the lives of regular Idahoans.

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