She described the moment the assault started before leaving the witness stand abruptly.
The woman quickly walked out of courtroom and said "I can't do that."
The Associated Press does not usually identify victims of sexual assault, but at the woman's request, she was referred to as Jane Doe.
Doe, then 19, was an intern at the Lewiston Republican Party when she reported to her supervisors that Aaron von Ehlinger, a Republican, had raped Doe at his Boise apartment. The incident occurred after Doe and Aaron had eaten at a restaurant.
Von Ehlinger, 38 has pleaded not guilty in felony cases of rape, sexual penetration with foreign objects and has maintained that they had consensual and intimate sex. After a recommendation by a legislative ethics commission, Von Ehlinger resigned as a member of the House of Representatives.
Doe was asked by Katelyn Farley, Ada County deputy prosecuting attorney, to describe a piece of clothing von Ehlinger wore that day in order to identify him to her jury.
Doe looked around the room and said "Blazer." Farley asked Doe to describe the color von Ehlinger’s tie. Doe replied, "I can't."
Doe answered most of her questions with a few words or fewer. She often looked at the jury or toward the exit door in back of courtroom. Sometimes her gaze would land on Jon Cox, von Ehlinger's defense attorney, at the defense table.
The gallery in the courtroom was full of lawyers. Side-by-side, journalists, victim service representatives and other observers sat in the gallery. One of the benches was reserved to a woman who had a service dog. These animals can sometimes be used to support witnesses when they are being asked for difficult testimony.
Doe was quiet in her voice and Cox interrupted her answers several times to tell her that he couldn’t hear her. Judge asked Doe repeatedly to move closer to microphone and to lean in.
Farley said to Doe again, "I need your attention."
She replied, "I can't," and looked again at the rear exit door.
Farley asked Doe if she had eaten at a restaurant with von Ehlinger, and then he drove her back to his apartment in his car. She sat down inside and enjoyed cookies. She said, "Oreos."
She said that von Ehlinger then picked her up, and took her into his bedroom.
"He laid me down...he took off his clothes...he climbed up on top of me...in just his boxers. Doe stated that he wore a white T-shirt. "He tried to place his fingers between my legs, and I closed my eyes."
She stood up at that moment.
She said, "I can't handle this anymore" and fled the courtroom.
The judge allowed the prosecuting lawyers to search for her and determine if she would come back. Reardon informed jurors that she didn't return and they should "strike Doe's testimony" from their minds, as the defense couldn't cross-examine her.
It was the second day in the trial. Jurors heard Tuesday from the police detectives as well as the nurse who did a rape exam on Doe approximately 48 hours after Doe claimed that the assault took place.
Doe testified that Doe said that she tried to stop von Ehlinger from making sexual advances on her by telling her she hadn't shaved, she wasn't on birthcontrol and that she was having menstrual cycles. Doe told her that von Ehlinger had placed his handgun on a dresser next to the bed and that he pinned Doe by climbing on top and kneeling on her shoulders.
Jurors were also told by the nurse and detective that Doe claimed she told von Ehlinger "no," during the assault, and that he was torturing her. Doe complained of arm pains during the exam. The nurse also said that Doe had a swelling on her back from von Ehlinger's head.
Jurors heard also from forensic scientists, who claimed that DNA taken from bodily fluids during Doe’s rape exam was consistent with von Ehlinger.
After Doe had left the courtroom the prosecutor called Laura King from Boise State University, an associate professor of criminal justice who is an expert on sexual violence victimization.
King explained to jurors that victims in a sexual assault tend to fight, flee, or freeze. He also said that hormones that trigger these responses can cause temporary paralysis, or dissociation, which is a mental state that causes them to feel disconnected from reality.
King stated that sexual assault survivors can experience the same physiological reactions, including dissociation. Although it may sound strange, such behavior is normal in response to assaults, King said.
Cox inquired King if she knew anything about von Ehlinger’s case. King denied knowing anything about Von Ehlinger's case.
"You speak specifically about these conditions – fight, flight and freeze, dissociative episodes, tonic immobility, but you don't know because you don’t have any specific information about the case, right?" King was asked by Cox.
King agreed and said she was speaking about sexual assault victims research.
Farley declared the prosecution's case closed after King's testimony.
Cox stated that he would inform the judge on Thursday morning whether von Ehlinger will testify for his defense.
Von Ehlinger could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in prison for each conviction.