A jury found von Ehlinger guilty of rape in April following a four-day trial, and his sentencing was scheduled to take place Thursday. (Brian Myrick/Idaho Press)
Fourth District Judge Michael Reardon granted a request Monday to delay sentencing on a felony rape charge against former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger pending his motion for a new trial or acquittal in the case.
A jury found von Ehlinger guilty of rape in April following a four-day trial, and his sentencing was scheduled to take place Thursday. The charges were related to a night in March 2021 when von Ehlinger, then 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, filed a motion for a new trial or acquittal nearly two weeks after the jury’s verdict and requested a transcript of the jury deliberations to support the motion. According to the Idaho Statesman, von Ehlinger said he could not afford to pay for the transcript and asked Ada County to pick up the tab, which is estimated to be $2,773.
Reardon said he granted the motion to delay sentencing because he did not want to create more distress for the victim in the case by sentencing von Ehlinger and then potentially granting a new trial.
Von Ehlinger represented Lewiston 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.
Reardon said he wants to keep the case moving and set deadlines for Cox to file his completed motion and for the state prosecution to respond. He scheduled a hearing at 3 p.m. on Aug. 25 to consider a new trial or acquittal, and said if that motion is denied, he expects sentencing would take place less than two weeks later.
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