After a 19-year-old intern in Idaho reported then-state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger for sexual assault, she found herself the subject of an intense harassment campaign by his colleagues in the state legislature. According to the intern, von Ehlinger had forced her to perform oral sex on him, despite her repeatedly saying “no.” In response, one state legislator shared the intern’s identity in public posts. When the intern testified before a Legislative Ethics Committee in April, where provisions had been made to keep her identity private, she was recognized by von Ehlinger’s supporters. A crowd surrounded her as she left the building, trying to take pictures and video of her, causing her to collapse into a fetal position on the Statehouse floor, according to the Associated Press, who interviewed the woman.
Von Ehlinger resigned last week after the ethics committee voted he’d behaved in a way “unbecoming of a lawmaker.” “I respected them enough not to keep it a secret,” said the intern, referring to members of the Idaho legislature. Their response, she says, “destroyed” her.