Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 55° Clear
News >  Pacific NW

Lawmaker who shared rape accuser’s name runs for new office

UPDATED: Fri., May 21, 2021

By Rebecca Boone Associated Press

BOISE – An Idaho lawmaker facing criticism for publicizing the name of an intern who accused another lawmaker of rape has announced a run for lieutenant governor.

Rep. Priscilla Giddings, a three-term Republican from White Bird, declared her candidacy Friday, calling herself “Top Gun” in reference to her military service. She is currently a major in the Air Force Reserves.

“I am running for Lieutenant Governor because Idaho deserves to be represented by a proven conservative,” Giddings said in a prepared statement. “I will be a champion for limited government, a fighter for our Second Amendment rights, a tireless advocate for the unborn.”

Current Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin announced earlier this week that she was running for governor. Another Republican lawmaker, Rep. Luke Malek from Coeur d’Alene, announced in November that he is running for the lieutenant governor’s post.

Critics have called for an ethics hearing for Giddings over her actions in connection with a rape investigation involving former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger of Lewiston.

After a 19-year-old legislative intern reported that von Ehlinger raped her, Giddings shared a far-right blog post that included the young woman’s name, photo and identifying information on a social media page and in a newsletter to constituents. Giddings also disparagingly referred to the woman as a “honey trap” in the newsletter.

Von Ehlinger has denied any wrongdoing and maintains he had consensual sexual contact with the woman. The Boise Police Department is investigating. Von Ehlinger resigned after an ethics committee found he committed “conduct unbecoming” of a lawmaker.

Giddings’ decision to publicize the accuser’s name and personal details led to an outcry, with thousands of people signing petitions and sending letters – mostly form letters – to legislative leaders demanding an ethics hearing. The Idaho Female Veterans Network has condemned Giddings and asked the Air Force to investigate her actions.

Giddings did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press left at her campaign office on Friday. The voice mail box for Giddings’ home phone number was full.

Giddings spent nine years in active duty with the Air Force and served on three combat deployments.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.