Lawyer: Accused former lawmaker was vacationing in Central America, not ‘fugitive’
Aaron von Ehlinger left the nation for a months-long worldwide trip, to not outrun prices that he had raped a Statehouse intern, his lawyer says.
BOISE, Idaho — The lawyer for a former Idaho lawmaker accused of sexually assaulting a Statehouse intern insisted Wednesday that his shopper was having fun with a months-long worldwide trip, not making an attempt to outrun rape prices.
Aaron von Ehlinger, 39, was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson Worldwide Airport in Atlanta Saturday evening after his airplane again to the U.S. landed. He has been held within the Clayton County Jail since, lawyer Jon Cox mentioned.
“They really made an announcement when the airplane landed, and he needed to get off the airplane first and he was taken into custody,” he mentioned.
Boise Police launched an investigation in March after a 19-year-old intern on the Idaho State Capitol instructed detectives von Ehlinger had raped her in his Boise house after the pair went out to dinner. The lawmaker, a Republican from Juliaetta, resigned from his seat within the Idaho Home in April after a bipartisan ethics committee discovered he had dedicated “conduct unbecoming a consultant” in his romantic pursuit of the intern and several other different girls who labored on the Idaho Capitol.
The next month, in Might, von Ehlinger left the nation and flew to Central America.
Cox mentioned his shopper was taking a trip with household and tending to some “enterprise pursuits,” including that he was uncertain which nation the previous lawmaker had traveled to. However the protection lawyer was adamant that von Ehlinger was not a “fugitive” and was not making an attempt to keep away from prosecution by leaving the U.S. whereas the rape investigation was occurring.
“There was some notion that he was on the run, that he was making an attempt to cover, and that’s completely not true,” Cox mentioned.
Von Ehlinger realized of the arrest warrant quickly after it was issued on Sept. 9, Cox mentioned, and retained him as a lawyer. Cox then reached out to the detectives assigned to the rape case, allow them to know that von Ehlinger was in a foreign country, and knowledgeable them that he would return to the U.S. to give up Sept. 24.
When requested why von Ehlinger didn’t minimize his trip brief and return earlier upon studying of the warrant, Cox responded that he didn’t consider it was crucial.
“Our thought was, you recognize, what’s two extra weeks to get him again?” he mentioned.
The lawyer additionally argued that von Ehlinger’s incarceration within the Clayton County Jail, the place he was listed as a “fugitive from justice,” is the results of a kind of misunderstanding.
Cox says the warrant issued for von Ehlinger was a “e-book and launch” warrant, which means he might flip himself in on the jail, be photographed and fingerprinted, then let go with out paying a bond. Authorities in Georgia, nonetheless, mistook the “no bond” designation as which means the suspect ought to be held with out bond – that’s, couldn’t be launched for any quantity of bail cash.
The lawyer says Clayton County has requested clarification from the Ada County Prosecutor’s Workplace, however the prosecutor has not offered it. If von Ehlinger just isn’t launched in Atlanta, the State of Idaho has 30 days to journey to Clayton County to retrieve him as a part of the extradition course of.
A spokeswoman for the Boise Police Division declined to say whether or not detectives knew von Ehlinger was in a foreign country.
Emily Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Ada County Prosecutor’s Workplace, mentioned a replica of the arrest warrant has been despatched to Clayton County, and that von Ehlinger is being held “per the authorized requirements and practices for one who’s arrested on an Idaho warrant in one other state.”
“The warrant permits for his launch as soon as he’s booked into the Ada County Jail, the place he will likely be served with a no contact order that was served along with the warrant,” Lowe mentioned.
It is unclear whether or not Ada County will search to retrieve von Ehlinger from Georgia or enable the 30-day restrict to elapse. A lawyer for the intern mentioned she had not been notified of the arrest by police, prosecutors, or a victim-witness coordinator assigned to the case.
Cox argued that his shopper “was at all times keen, prepared and capable of adjust to this warrant,” and that he ought to be allowed out of jail so he can fly again to Idaho on his personal dime, moderately than at taxpayer expense.
Von Ehlinger denies any wrongdoing within the case, his lawyer added.
“He’s adamant that he’s going to battle these prices,” Cox mentioned. “Actually, he’s not in the perfect of spirits as a result of he’s in custody in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s anxious to get again and take care of this.”
If convicted, von Ehlinger might resist life in jail.
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