November 1, 2013

Jury hears opening statements in trooper attempted-rape case


“In that instant, he’s putting her in substantial risk of death.”

The attack lasted about 30 minutes, Crawford said, often de-escalating to conversation between Donah and his ex.

But Crawford said the woman was still trapped on the bed.

Toward the end of the incident, the prosecutor said, Donah lay on top of his ex-girlfriend.

“He’s poking her, and he’s saying, ‘This is what you want.’”

The woman could barely believe he could say that to her after what he had done, Crawford said.

The argument ended with Donah making her promise not to go to the police, she said.


Donah’s ex had marks on her neck that she concealed from her co-workers by wearing a turtleneck, the assistant district attorney said.

“She didn’t want anyone to know,” Crawford said. “She was embarrassed. She was afraid.”

The woman didn’t tell anyone about the attack until 2012, Crawford said, telling the court her testimony would explain that.

In her opening statement, Lorraine White, co-counsel for the defense, said Donah’s ex-girlfriend had asked him to stay the night with her in their apartment after the fight.

He declined, White said, opting to sleep in his pickup truck.

He moved out of the apartment with the help of a friend, who also worked as a trooper, White said.


While Donah and the woman’s relationship had initially been a positive experience for both of them, that night in 2008 had not been the first time Donah had frightened his ex-girlfriend, Crawford said.

When Donah attended the State Police Academy, he learned tactics that he used to hurt her, the assistant district attorney said.

He would sometimes take his thumb and apply pressure to her jaw so that she was unable to speak, Crawford said.

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