PLATTSBURGH — In Clinton County Court Thursday, two women testified to seeing marks on Trevor J. Donah’s ex-girlfriend, who says the 33-year-old state trooper raped her.
Courtney Rice, the former boss of Donah’s ex, testified about a conversation she had with the woman after an alleged assault in April 2012.
Jennifer Channell, a friend and trainer, talked about how the woman went to the Wellness Center at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh to talk with her.
And Holly Connolly, a State Police investigator’s wife, testified about what Donah’s ex had told her about the alleged rape.
STATEMENTS TO POLICE
Earlier in Thursday’s court proceedings, Brian Barrett, one of Donah’s defense attorneys, directed the jury’s attention to the first two depositions given by the accused trooper’s ex-girlfriend, in which she said she wasn’t raped.
Donah’s ex gave Capt. Brent Gillam the first statement at State Police barracks in Plattsburgh on Oct. 12, 2012, and the second on Oct. 17.
She emphasized that the captain had asked her “yes or no questions” at the meetings.
Donah had text messaged her around Oct. 14, three days before she gave her second statement, she said. He told her in the text that he “needed space,” she testified.
At their first meeting, Gillam showed the woman an official order issued by State Police Major Richard Smith saying that Donah was prohibited from contacting both her and Trooper Timothy Connolly. (She had previously lived with Connolly, now an investigator, and his wife, Holly.)
“She told me she didn’t want to see either of them get in trouble,” Gillam testified Thursday morning.
Gillam said he told the woman to contact him if Donah violated the order.
When she met with Gillam the second time, the officer told her, “‘OK, I need the truth,’” the woman testified.
“Capt. Gillam asked me if Trevor had raped me, and I said no.”
‘EVERYBODY OUT TO GET HIM’
“By the time the second statement was over, I think I knew why she lied,” Gillam said in court Thursday, referring to the woman having visited Donah’s apartment.
The woman has testified that she met up with Donah before and after giving the first statement to Gillam.
After she left the barracks, she went to Donah’s apartment and told him everything was going to be all right, she said.
“He told me everybody is out to get him because of his beliefs.”
Then she told the jury about how she and Donah started “making out” and had consensual oral sex.
Answering Barrett’s question about whether she knew the consequences for lying in a sworn deposition, she said that, at the time, she didn’t realize “to what extent” it mattered.
Then, in December 2012, a State Police investigator gave her a ride to Troop B headquarters in Ray Book to give a third deposition.
“I told them I said, ‘No’ (to Donah),” she said. “I told them what happened.”
When Channell took the stand, she said that in the spring of 2012, the woman had come to the Wellness Center gym and talked with her.
“She was very panicked,” Channell told the jury. “She was pale. Her eyes were dilated. She was shaking.”
Channell said the woman told her that Donah had choked her and put her on the floor of his apartment, keeping her from leaving.
Channell said she noticed red marks on the woman’s neck and that, the next day, her collar bone appeared darker, like it was bruised.
‘LOOKED NOT OK’
Rice, former service manager at Texas Roadhouse, took the stand next.
The woman went into the Plattsburgh restaurant looking distraught on the same day she spoke with Channell, Rice said.
“Her face was all red, and she was just crying,” Rice said.
“She told me that Trevor had picked her up and threw her on the ground and sat on top of her and wouldn’t let her leave (the apartment).”
Rice also testified that she had observed marks on the woman.
In cross-examination, Barrett asked both Channell and Rice whether they had taken any pictures of the marks and bruises. Both said they hadn’t.
Then Mrs. Connolly testified about what the woman had told her on the day of the alleged rape.
The woman had moved back in with the Connollys at the end of August 2012, a few weeks beforehand, Mrs. Connolly said.
One day in early September, Donah’s ex came through the front door crying, Mrs. Connolly told the jury.
“She seemed worried, nervous,” she said. “She told me Trevor almost raped her.
“I was surprised.”
‘DIDN’T WANT TO REPORT’
Donah’s ex told Mrs. Connolly that she had arrived at Donah’s apartment and the two were kissing on the couch before Trevor took off his clothes and pinned her down, Mrs. Connolly testified.
Mrs. Connolly asked if the woman wanted to go to police or talk to someone, but she said she didn’t.
In cross-examination, Mrs. Connolly said that the woman had cried on a lot of occasions around that time.
That was because she was upset that she couldn’t get back together with Donah, Mrs. Connolly said.
Investigator Connolly said that on Sept. 15, 2012, the woman had come home “bawling her eyes out.
“She was a wreck.”
When he asked her if she was raped, she replied, “I don’t know.”
Connolly suggested she file a police report.
“She immediately said, ‘I’m OK’ and went into her bedroom and closed the door.”
In cross-examination, Connolly said he had not seen the woman being abused by Donah or any injuries on her body.
‘GONE TOO FAR’
Last to testify Thursday was State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Senior Investigator John Donohue.
He talked about the hour-long interview he had with the woman in September 2012. It was the first time she had talked to the police concerning the case.
Donohue said the woman said Donah had “gone too far” in an encounter earlier that month.
“The event ended because of her protest,” Donohue said she had told him. He also said the woman told him Donah had “tried to have sex with me, and he couldn’t.”
The woman told Donohue several times that she didn’t want anyone to get in trouble, he testified, adding that at the end of the meeting, she had said she didn’t want to initiate an investigation.
Email Felicia Krieg: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg
Trevor J. Donah is accused in this trial of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse, both felonies, and five misdemeanors: two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and one charge of second-degree unlawful imprisonment.