Former Elmore County felon pardoned by Governor Otter

CBS 2 File Photo

Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter announced today that he was granting a pardon to Aaron Bonney, a former Elmore County felon who was convicted in 1997 and served a 6-month rider for the statutory rape of his then, under-age girlfriend.

At the time of the crime, Bonney was 18-years-old and the victim was 15.

Bonney was sentenced to seven years with three years fixed and four indeterminate.

According to the Governor's office, Bonney served the remaining terms of his probation in October of 2004 after completing a 6-month rider program at the North Idaho Correctional Institution in Cottonwood. In October of 2018, the Idaho Commission for Pardons and Parole unanimously approved Bonney’s request and recommended that Bonney receive what the Governor's Office says is a "rare" pardon from the Governor.

Bonney went back to school and received his Associates Degree from the College of Western Idaho in 2013 and his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Boise State University in 2017. The former victim of Bonney’s submitted a letter of support to the parole board to pardon the former felon.

“This was a serious crime,” said Governor Otter. “However, the overwhelming preponderance of all the mitigating factors and the fact that Mr. Bonney has paid his debt to society and placed himself on a path devoted to bettering his life and taking responsibility for his past mistakes led me to conclude that a pardon was appropriate in this case.”

The Governor has only extended five pardons during his 12-year tenure. The previous four involved drug-related offenses.

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