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Case against former Idaho lawmaker accused of rape moves forward

Former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger talks into a microphone on the steps of the Idaho Capitol. Men stand behind him, some holding Trump's Make America Great Again flags, some holding American flags.
Gustavo Sagrero
Boise State Public Radio
Former state congressman Aaron Von Ehlinger is facing two felony charges of rape and sexual assault.

The criminal case against former state representative Aaron von Ehlinger is moving forward to District Court after Ada County Magistrate Judge Kira Dale found probable cause for two criminal charges against him.

Von Ehlinger faces two felony charges of rape and sexual assault.

The criminal complaint against him stems from allegations that the former Republican lawmaker had non-consensual oral sex with a 19-year-old legislative staffer in March, and that he pentrated her with his finger. He said the sex was consensual.

The state requested Friday afternoon’s preliminary hearing be closed to protect the privacy of the alleged victim, but the court denied that request.

The hearing took place at the Ada County Courthouse. In-person attendance was limited due to coronavirus restrictions, and the hearing was also live-streamed.

Prosecutors brought forward two witnesses Friday. Anne Wardle is a sexual assault forensic exam nurse with the Faces of Hope Victim Center in Boise. She examined the alleged sexual assault victim, Jane Doe. Wardle detailed what Doe told her about the alleged assault and what she learned when she did an exam of Doe.

She said Doe complained of pain on one of her arms where von Ehlinger allegedly placed one of his knees, and that she had tenderness on the back of her head from hitting the headboard when she tried to pull away. Wardle also took swabs on different parts of the alleged victim’s body, including her stomach where von Ehlinger allegedly ejaculated. The results from that swab were confirmed to most likely match von Ehlinger’s DNA, the prosecutors said.

The second witness, Monte Iverson, is a detective with the Boise Police Department. He testified that von Ehlinger’s lawyer at the time confirmed von Ehlinger participated in sexual acts with the alleged victim, though von Ehlinger said it was consensual.

Von Ehlinger will be arraigned in District Court on November 8.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.

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