Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News

Ex-Idaho State Rep Gets 20 Years In Prison For Raping Legislative Intern

"I hope he rots in pieces behind those cold metal bars,” the victim in the case said at trial of former Idaho Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger.

By Dorian Geiger
Former Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, who was convicted of rape

A former Idaho state lawmaker found guilty of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old intern was sentenced to 20 years in prison this week.

Aaron von Ehlinger, 40, who was convicted of rape in April, was handed the sentenced by a district judge on Monday, according to the Associated Press. The Ada County prosecutor’s office initially had requested von Ehlinger be sentenced to a 40-year prison term.

In March 2021, von Ehlinger was first accused of rape by the victim, who interned for a separate lawmaker. The victim alleged the former Republican state legislator sexually assaulted her the same month after the pair had dinner together. Von Ehlinger long maintained the sex was consensual. 

He resigned from his post in the Idaho House of Representatives in April 2021 after an ethics committee determined his conduct was inappropriate. 

At the former lawmaker’s sentencing, the judge presiding over the case stated that von Ehlinger hadn’t displayed any remorse for his actions.

“You have a pattern of explaining, excusing, deflecting and blaming others for the circumstances you find yourself in,” Judge Michael Reardon told von Ehlinger during the hearing.

Von Ehlinger must serve at least eight years behind bars before he’s eligible for parole, per the Associated Press.

“I want to thank Jane Doe for the courage she has demonstrated in this case,” county prosecutor Jan Bennetts said in a prepared statement, cited by CNN. “I appreciate the tireless work done by the Boise Police detectives on this case, which allowed my team to ensure justice was served.”

The victim, who addressed the court during trial, said she testified “for the future of any Jane and John Doe here in Idaho.”

“I am here now,” she told the court. “I am here scared, I am here frightened, I am so petrified, but I will not be intimidated into silence so that another rapist can slip through the cracks of this justice system. I hope he rots in pieces behind those cold metal bars.”

The case’s judge also ordered von Ehlinger to register as a sex offender upon his release. He’s barred from having any contact with the victim until 2055.

“You see yourself as a victim and you see yourself as a hero, and frankly I don’t see you as either one of those things,” Reardon told von Ehlinger. “You created your own circumstances that put you here today.”

Von Ehlinger came to office in June 2020 after Idaho Gov. Brad Little appointed him to fill a vacant seat. He was elected in 2020.