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November 7, 2013

Trooper found not guilty

Jury clears Trevor Donah of charges; faces two more trials

PLATTSBURGH — State Police Trooper Trevor Donah was found not guilty Wednesday in Clinton County Court of attempted rape and two other felony charges.

In February, he was indicted on charges of first-degree attempted rape, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and second-degree assault in connection with accusations from a former girlfriend.

After about 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges.

EMOTIONAL REACTION

One of Donah’s family members was audibly sobbing as the verdict was presented to the court.

He began sobbing as well after all three not-guilty verdicts were read.

He turned to embrace family members and his attorneys, Brian Barrett and co-counsel Lorraine White.

“An innocent man was vindicated by the truth today,” White said upon exiting the courtroom.

“I’m happy the jury saw this for what it was and that Trooper Donah was acquitted,” Barrett said.

Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Crawford declined to comment.

ATTACK TESTIMONY

On the stand last week, Donah’s ex-girlfriend testified that one night in September 2008 she had confronted Donah after finding intimate emails between him and another woman.

She said Donah had attacked her, pushing her into a wall and down the hall into the bedroom.

He threw her up against a wall, she said, and she had landed on the bed.

Donah pinned her there and, at one point, strangled her for between 15 and 30 seconds, she testified.

CLOSING STATEMENTS

Barrett delivered his closing statement first Wednesday morning, drawing the jury’s attention to what he said were inconsistencies in the woman’s testimony.

In grand-jury proceedings in February, Donah’s ex had said the attack had lasted for 20 minutes, and at the trial she testified its duration was about 30 minutes.

“She wasn’t timing it (the attack),” Crawford said in response during her closing. “She was estimating.”

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