Former Idaho representative convicted of rape asks for new trial or acquittal

Attorney for Aaron von Ehlinger argues jury had insufficient evidence to convict

By: - May 19, 2022 10:06 am
Aaron von Ehlinger

Former Idaho Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger glances toward the gallery during the second day of testimony in his rape trial on April 27, 2022, at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise. (Brian Myrick/Idaho Press)

Former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, whom a jury found guilty of felony rape in April, filed a motion seeking a new trial or acquittal in Ada County’s Fourth District court on May 13.

Von Ehlinger’s attorney also requested that he be released on bond while the new trial or acquittal motions are considered. A hearing to consider a motion for a jury transcript will take place at 9 a.m. June 13.

Von Ehlinger, who represented Lewiston in the Idaho Legislature from 2020 to 2021, is scheduled to be sentenced July 28 for the rape conviction. 

A jury of seven men and six women on April 29 found von Ehlinger guilty of the crime of rape, and not guilty on a charge of forcible penetration with a foreign object.

The charges were related to a night in March 2021 when von Ehlinger, 39, took a 19-year-old legislative intern to dinner, then back to his apartment, where the former intern said he forced her to perform oral sex and inserted his fingers inside of her without her consent. Under Idaho Code, he faces between one year and life in prison for the crime.

Von Ehlinger’s attorney, Jon Cox, said in the motion for a new trial that a transcript of the four-day trial would show that evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction, that there was error regarding statutory and constitutional grounds during the trial, and that the verdict was contrary to the law or evidence.

“In addition, the defense anticipates that there will be presentation of new evidence at a hearing on the alternative motion for a new trial, and that additional time may be necessary to provide said information,” Cox wrote.

Von Ehlinger served in the Legislature for less than one year. Gov. Brad Little appointed von Ehlinger to the Idaho House of Representatives on June 3, 2020, to fill the seat held by the late Rep. Thyra Stevenson. 

He resigned from the Legislature following an ethics hearing in the House of Representatives in April 2021. The ethics committee recommended his suspension or expulsion for the alleged conduct.


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Kelcie Moseley-Morris
Kelcie Moseley-Morris

Kelcie Moseley-Morris is an award-winning journalist who has covered many topics across Idaho since 2011. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in public administration from Boise State University. Moseley-Morris started her journalism career at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, followed by the Lewiston Tribune and the Idaho Press.