BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho lawmaker accused of rape via a 19-year-old legislative intern has resigned after an ethics committee discovered he will have to be officially censured.
The investigation into state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger started in March after a tender staffer reported he raped her in his condo after the 2 had dinner at a Boise eating place. Von Ehlinger has denied all wrongdoing and maintains he had consensual sexual touch with the younger girl.
He resigned Thursday after an ethics committee unanimously agreed that he engaged in “habits unbecoming” and advisable that he be suspended with out pay for the remainder of the legislative consultation.
The Boise Police Division is investigating the rape allegations, and von Ehlinger has no longer been charged.
The verdict got here the day after the panel heard hours of testimony, together with from the teenager who first introduced the allegations. She used to be protected against public view via a display screen and used the title Jane Doe throughout the lawsuits, however some far-right blogs published her id, as did a social media submit and a publication to constituents via Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Chook.
After the teenager testified, a few of von Ehlinger’s supporters and a tv information reporter pursued her out of the development, recording video as she rushed to her automobile.
The Capitol Correspondents Affiliation, the credentialing entity for information newshounds protecting the Idaho Legislature, revoked the reporter’s credentials for violating the established press regulations for protection of the listening to.
Von Ehlinger, 38, a Republican from Lewiston, used to be appointed to the Idaho Area of Representatives in June to switch a member who had died. He’s an Military veteran and lists his career as actual property investor/developer.
He wrote in his resignation letter that he was hoping stepping down would spare his colleagues from having to care for the ethics committee’s advice, which he disagreed with.
The ethics panel had additionally advisable that von Ehlinger be held in contempt for refusing to respond to some questions throughout his testimony on Wednesday. The lawmaker invoked his 5th Modification correct to not incriminate himself, however Idaho regulation states that testimony given in a legislative ethics panel can’t be utilized in prison courtroom circumstances. That suggests the 5th Modification doesn’t practice, the committee mentioned.
The five-member ethics panel additionally agreed that they’d throw unanimous enhance in the back of a movement to expel von Ehlinger if any Area lawmaker makes a decision to make one.
Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Wendy Horman mentioned von Ehlinger used to be inconsistent in his testimony and wrongly refused to respond to pertinent questions, and the proof confirmed he maintained a development of hitting on subordinates on the Statehouse regardless of repeated warnings.
She rejected his argument that as a result of there used to be no written rule in opposition to relationship staffers, there used to be not anything mistaken with the habits.
The lawyers who’re representing the intern, Erika Birch and Annie Hightower, launched a commentary thanking the committee for recommending that von Ehlinger be censured and “taking the primary steps to carry him in command of raping a teenager intern.”
The lawyers additionally famous it’s been extremely tough for his or her shopper, particularly when she used to be accosted via the onlookers after attesting.
Sexual attack survivors can obtain confidential enhance, lend a hand discovering native sources, details about rules and different data via calling the Nationwide Sexual Attack Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE).