Rep. Giddings faces ethics investigation over publicizing information of woman who reported being raped
A state representative running for lieutenant governor is facing an ethics investigation for publicizing personal information about a young woman who accused a lawmaker of rape.
Republican Representative Priscilla Giddings, of Whitebird, drew widespread condemnation in April for posting a link that included the name and photo of a 19-year-old woman who accused then-Representative Aaron Von Ehlinger of rape.
Von Ehlinger, also a Republican, denied the accusation but resigned his seat.
A source with knowledge of the complaint confirmed its existence to Boise State Public Radio. The source said it was signed by a bipartisan group of legislators. The complaint was first reported by the online news site, The Intercept.
Mike Satz, who leads the anti-extremist group The Idaho 97 Project, applauded news of the investigation.
“We believe that the only thing that is appropriate in her case is that she be expelled from the body because this is conduct unbecoming of a legislator,” he said.
Gidding declined an interview, but in an email she said the link she posted was already widely available and that she did nothing wrong.
"I've been a fighter for justice my whole life, and I take a backseat to no one in working to get justice for victims,” she wrote.
Giddings also claimed Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke, her opponent for lieutenant governor, is using the investigation as a political attack.
In a phone interview Bedke called the claim “patently false.” Bedke would not confirm the existence of the confidential ethics investigation, but noted the timing of Giddings post about the victim.
“Any lapse in her ethics would have happened before she announced and before I announced,” he said.“It was not I that tried to vilify the victim.”
An email obtained by Boise State Public Radio also shows the Air Force Academy is also looking into complaints against Giddings.Giddings is a fighter pilot, an academy graduate and a major in the Air Force Reserves.