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Former lawmaker sentenced for raping an intern appeals to the Idaho Supreme Court

Aaron von Ehlinger, sentenced to 20 years in prison for rape, appealed his conviction to the Idaho Supreme Court on Sept. 23 and appointed a new public defender.

BOISE, Idaho — Aaron von Ehlinger, a former Idaho Representative convicted of raping a 19-year-old statehouse intern and sentenced to 20 years in prison, has appealed his conviction in the Idaho Supreme Court on Sept. 23.

KTVB reached out to the court's clerk to obtain the full appeal, but was informed that it will not be available until late November or December when the appeal is reviewed and receives a docket number if accepted.

Von Ehlinger was denied a request for an acquittal or new trial in August and later sentenced in early September to 20 years in prison with eight years before he is eligible for parole.

The notice of appeal, filed in Ada County's District Court, said the court erred during trial in letting Ann Wardle testify to Jane Doe's state of mind and comments to her during Doe's sexual assault examination. 

However, Wardle's testimony, which said Doe was forced into oral rape and hit her head when she resisted, is not considered hearsay under Idaho Rules of Evidence 803. This is because nurses are allowed to testify to treatment, diagnosis, a victim's state of mind, their physical condition and others. 

"The evidence was based upon a firmly rooted exception to the hearsay requirement," Reardon said in the Aug. 25 hearing.

Cox argues in the notice that the court erred in denying the Rule 29 motion, the motion for acquittal or a new trial, and that the judge should have granted it.

The notice of appeal also says the judge should have declared a mistrial immediately after Doe fled the stand during her testimony. Von Ehlinger's attorney, Jon Cox, was given the opportunity during the trial to request the mistrial, but declined.

It also says the court "abused its discretion" in imposing a 20 year sentence. Von Ehlinger has also filed for a new public defender.

This story will be updated.

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