“It’s just irresponsible to publicly accuse someone of felony crimes before the investigation is complete,” Dindinger said.
Von Ehlinger told the Ethics Committee that the sexual encounter with Jane Doe was consensual. The committee heard public testimony from Doe from behind a curtain concealing her identity. But Hightower says the moment she left the committee room, Doe was hounded by activists, including two women with cellphone cameras trying to get video of her.
“Me and my co-counsel and several women who were bystanders rushed and surrounded her,” Hightower said, shielding her face with umbrellas until Capitol security escorted her out of the building.
另外, a local TV reporter recorded the incident with a cellphone. The reporter’s station subsequently apologized and erased her footage — which was never aired — and her Capitol credentials were revoked, according to Idaho Press Club president Betsy Z. Russell.
The scene was condemned by members of the committee. “Anybody who did harass or intimidate a witness should be reviewed for possible prosecution,” Democratic state Rep. John Gannon said at the conclusion of the four-day hearing.
But Hightower says she’s concerned about future victims who may be intimidated by the process. “I’m not naïve enough to think that this will never happen again,” 她说.
事实上, Jane Doe’s identity already had been made public, when correspondence from von Ehlinger’s attorney that included her name was published by a conservative news site. That report was further publicized by Republican state Rep. Priscilla Giddings, who linked to it via social media and her official constituent newsletter.
“代表. Giddings must be held accountable for her actions in spreading lies in social media posts, intimidating the witness Jane Doe, & more lies during the hearing,” 民主国家参议员. Melissa Wintrow tweeted after the hearing.
Dindinger, von Ehlinger’s current attorney, told CNN that the letter was released by a previous lawyer working for von Ehlinger, but it was done without his client’s approval or consultation.
代表. Giddings did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
The Ethics Committee — which is majority Republican — did not make a judgment on whether von Ehlinger had committed a crime, but did vote unanimously last Thursday to recommend that he be censured and suspended from his duties for “conduct unbecoming” in repeatedly propositioning women who worked in the Capitol for dates. 几小时后, von Ehlinger resigned before the full House could act on the recommendation.
Dindinger told CNN on Wednesday that he was not at liberty to discuss any future steps von Ehlinger may take.
Hightower says their main concern now is that future witnesses don’t have to experience what happened to Doe. “Nothing we can do at this point can fix what happened to my client,” Hightower said.