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Idaho lawmaker wasn't fleeing when he was arrested in Georgia, lawyer says

Aaron von Ehlinger ethics trial
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio
Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger (R-Lewiston) during the first day of an ethics hearing into allegations he raped a volunteer staff member.

A lawyer for former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger says his client was not evading a warrant when he was arrested in Georgia over the weekend.

Von Ehlinger was arrested in Clayton County, Georgia last Saturday after returning from Central America, according to his attorney, Jon Cox.

The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant for von Ehlinger earlier this month for rape and sexual assault charges. The warrant would’ve allowed him to be booked and released after turning himself in.

But Cox said his client had been working and vacationing in Central America since May.

“No one’s required to stay around while an investigation is going on. If you take off after a warrant’s issued, then you may have a problem, but he was already gone,” Cox said.

Von Ehlinger resigned his House seat in April after an ethics investigation into allegations he raped a 19-year-old legislative staffer. He maintains it was consensual.

Cox says von Ehlinger waived his right to an extradition hearing. He said the Ada County Prosecutor’s office could tell officials in Georgia to release him, or securely transport him back to Idaho at taxpayer expense.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office referred questions to the Ada County Sheriff's Office, which didn't immediately respond.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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