October 29, 2013

Jury selection begins today in trooper rape case

PLATTSBURGH — Jury selection begins today in Clinton County Court for State Police Trooper Trevor J. Donah’s rape trial.

This is the first of three trials slated for Donah, 32, one for each of three alleged victims.

On Feb. 5, he was charged with first-degree rape and first-degree attempted rape, allegedly involving two female victims.

A third alleged victim emerged less than a week later, as did more charges.


In all, Donah faces two counts each of first-degree rape, first-degree attempted rape and first-degree sexual abuse; three counts each of first-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and second-degree assault; two counts of third-degree assault; and two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.

All the charges are felonies except for second-degree unlawful imprisonment, third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.

The incidents allegedly occurred between 2008 and 2012, according to court records.

Donah knew the women, Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne previously told the Press-Republican. He said the assaults happened when the trooper was off duty.

Orders of protection for the three women were put in place after Donah’s arrest.


After a conflict of interest was discovered early on in the investigation, the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office turned the prosecution over to the Franklin County DA.

Champagne has entrusted the case to Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Glenn McNeil, who will be working together with Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Crawford to prosecute Donah.

Crawford was assigned to the case initially.

“It was a disappointment,” Donah’s defense attorney, Brian Barrett of Lake Placid, said of the change in counsel. “I was looking forward to seeing him (Champagne) in the courtroom.”

“Three-quarters to probably 90 percent of my special-prosecutor assignments are not dealt by me directly,” Champagne told the Press-Republican.

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