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Two Weeks After Warrant, No Arrest for Former Idaho Lawmaker Charged with Rape

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Former Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger has yet to turn himself in and no arrest has been announced, fifteen days after a warrant was issued on felony rape charges.

Law enforcement in the city of Boise and Ada County appear to be taking a passive approach to von Ehlinger’s situation. The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t said whether it is pursuing the former lawmaker. Ada County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Patrick Orr told Spokane Public Radio, “It doesn’t appear that he has turned himself in anywhere else. Our advice to anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant is to turn themselves in.” Orr directed other questions to the Boise Police Department.

BPD spokeswoman Haley Williams said they do not believe von Ehlinger is in the city. She did not say whether police are actively looking for him. But, Williams said, the warrant can be executed anywhere in the country, meaning if von Ehlinger comes to law enforcement’s attention for another reason – such as a traffic stop – he could be arrested on the felony warrant.

A nineteen-year-old legislative intern accused von Ehlinger of rape in March of this year. The following month von Ehlinger resigned his seat in the Idaho House but denied any wrongdoing. He said the sexual encounter was consensual. Boise police launched a four-month investigation into the intern’s allegations. That was followed by a prosecutorial review, which culminated in the September 9 issuance of the warrant.

During a legislative probe into von Ehlinger’s behavior, an Idaho capitol security guard described her relationship with the lawmaker as “uncomfortably” consensual. Two other women who worked at the capitol told legislators that von Ehlinger made them uncomfortable.

BPD’s Williams says there is no court-mandated date for von Ehlinger to turn himself in.

Brandon Hollingsworth is your All Things Considered host. He has served public radio audiences for fifteen years, primarily in reporting, hosting and interviewing. His previous ports-of-call were WUOT-FM in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Alabama Public Radio. His work has been heard nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here and Now and NPR’s top-of-the-hour newscasts.
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