How Aaron Von Ehlinger’s Guilty Verdict Could’ve Been Avoided
A jury of his peers has convicted former state representative Aaron Von Ehlinger of rape. He was found not guilty of another felony charge brought against him by Ada County prosecutors. It took the jury two days and just over eleven hours to get their verdict. We all must ponder how this terrible situation could've simply been avoided if someone had followed common sense and basic Idaho morality.
In this case, everyone is a loser. Let's begin with the convicted rapist Von Ehlinger. A man who was a state representative just under forty years of age could now spend the rest of his life in prison. There would be no conviction if the now-convicted former state representative had not asked the victim Jane Doe to dinner and then back to his apartment.
What does a nearly forty-year-old man have in common with a not yet twenty-year-old intern/volunteer? Most folks believe they weren't discussing the differences between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Having dinner is not a crime, but going back to the apartment is where the train went off the tracks. Simply put, common sense didn't prevail on that night.
Jane Doe will spend the rest of her life trying to recover from this incident. Some blame her for accepting the invitation to dinner and then going to Von Ehlinger's apartment. The world is far more sophisticated these days with social media and streaming videos. Young people are exposed to sexuality at an earlier age. However, as my mother has said to me many times, who's the kid and the adult?
The victim has been put through the emotional ringer testifying before the House, exposing her identity, and emotionally breaking down during the trial. She will need a lot of love, compassion, and counseling to repair the damage from a wrong decision.
Where do we go from here as a society? Perhaps, we can all learn a lesson that if it looks terrible, then it is awful. If only someone had channeled Nancy Reagan and just said no!