July 27, 2013

Trial date set for trooper rape case


---- — PLATTSBURGH — A State Police trooper accused of rape will face three separate trials.

The cases involving three women, on charges that include rape and attempted rape, were severed from one another following motions filed with Clinton County Court by Trooper Trevor J. Donah’s defense attorney, Brian Barrett, and Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne, the special prosecutor in the case.

Donah’s first trial was set Thursday, to begin in Clinton County Court on Oct. 28. Judge Patrick McGill will preside.

Court records list the alleged offenses as happening between 2008 and 2012. Champagne has said the crimes happened while Donah was off duty.


Donah is no longer suspended from his job and is being paid by State Police, although he is not working at present.

State Police initially suspended Donah for 30 days without pay in September and October 2012 while they conducted an internal investigation, Barrett explained Friday.

“At the conclusion of the internal affairs investigation, he was cleared to return to work,” Barrett said.

Troop B Commander Major Richard Smith said he could not comment on the nature of the internal investigation.

“Any time a (State Police) member is accused of a crime, there is always a corresponding administrative investigation that is conducted,” Smith said Friday. “If you violate a law in the state of New York, you violate a regulation with the New York State Police.

“That investigation, right now, is on hold pending the outcome of the criminal case.”

The internal investigation will resume if Donah is found guilty by the court, Smith said.

Information revealed in court cases is used in State Police internal investigations that resume if a defendant is found guilty, he said.


Donah continued working as a uniform trooper from October 2012 until Feb. 5, 2013, when he was arrested on two counts of first-degree rape, Barrett said.

He was then suspended until March 7 without pay.

A few days after his Feb. 5 arrest, Donah was indicted by a grand jury on first-degree attempted rape, first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of first-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault and two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.

Donah has been on paid leave since March 7.

“The only reason he can’t return to work right now is because of the pending felony and the orders of protection,” Barrett said.

“This (case) is going to be decided by a judge and a jury.”

Email Felicia Krieg: fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg