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Standout coverage on rape trial of former Idaho lawmaker

Former Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger looks on as the defense asks questions of a witness during the second day of testimony in his rape trial at the Ada County Courthouse, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, in Boise, Idaho. (Brian Myrick/The Idaho Press-Tribune via AP, Pool)

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Boise correspondent Rebecca Boone delivered comprehensive gavel-to-gavel coverage from the dramatic trial of a former Idaho lawmaker charged with the rape of a 19-year-old intern. Reporting with authority and sensitivity, she beat the competition with news of the verdict while highlighting the case’s place in the national debate over victim trauma and criminal justice.

Boone had closely followed the case since the initial rape allegations against former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger by the intern, who was harassed and abused online for months.

From the courtroom, Boone relayed the guilty verdict to AP’s West Desk staff,who moved an alert and updated story well ahead of the competition. And for the next cycle, Boone stepped back to place the case in broader context, speaking to experts who detailed the trauma of court proceedings for victims and pointed to national statistics showing very low rates of conviction in such cases.

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Former Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger is led out of the courtroom in Boise, Idaho, April 29, 2022, after he was convicted of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern. – James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio, Pool via AP

Earlier in the trial,as the young woman testified,she slowly described the assault before fleeing the witness stand, saying “I can’t do this.” She didn’t return and the judge told jurors to disregard her testimony because the defense hadn’t had an opportunity to question her. Boone’s story about the testimony was among AP’s most read that day.

Boone’s breaking story on the verdict also received strong social engagement, with particularly notable performance on Facebook.

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