PLATTSBURGH — In Clinton County Court Wednesday, State Police Trooper Trevor J. Donah’s ex-girlfriend said he raped her on the couch of his apartment about three months after they broke up.
Earlier that day in September 2012, the woman had arranged a time with Donah to return a painting she had given to him as a birthday gift.
She was seeing another man, she said, and wanted to tell Donah about it personally.
“When Trevor and I broke up, I still cared about him,” she said at one point, answering a question from special prosecutor Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Crawford. “(But) I was trying to move on.”
The two were chatting in the kitchen when Donah kissed her, she testified.
“I was so shocked, so I stopped him.”
But, she said, Donah starting kissing her again.
“He told me he couldn’t stop his feelings for me, that he just couldn’t pull away.”
Donah wasn’t forceful with her, at first, she said, and he asked her if he could perform oral sex on her, but after she said no several times, he picked her up and carried her into the bedroom.
She said she tried to stop him, flipping her hands into the doorway.
Donah put her on the bed and pulled down her underwear, she testified.
The woman, who is not being identified by the Press-Republican because of the sexual nature of the charges, then got off the bed and started for the door.
Before she was able to leave, she said, Donah came up behind her, naked.
He picked her up, put her on the couch, pulled her underwear off and put his penis inside her, she said.
She told him to stop and got off the couch, again trying to leave the apartment.
Donah picked up her underwear and asked if she wanted them, the woman said.
She said she grabbed them and left.
The woman testified that she drove to the home of the wife of a trooper, where she was staying, and told her everything that had happened.
She said she met up with Donah a week after the alleged rape to tell him that one of Donah’s aunts, Jill Shumway, had advised her tell police what had happened.
Following a report of domestic violence made by Daniel Yando, an uncle of Donah’s, two State Police investigators interviewed the woman.
She said she was hesitant but told them what happened, also saying she didn’t want to press charges.
Then, in October 2012, the woman met Donah for lunch in downtown Plattsburgh before she was to go to the State Police barracks in Plattsburgh to talk with Capt. Brent Gillam.
She said Donah told her what had happened between them was “normal couple stuff.”
After that, the woman said, she told Gillam there had been no abuse, then she met Donah at his apartment after the meeting.
“I told him (Donah) everything was going to be fine,” and then she and Donah had consensual sex, she said.
But after talking with Shumway again, the woman said, she decided to tell Gillam about some of the abuse.
But she didn’t tell him everything, she said, adding that a trooper who was friends with Donah was standing outside the captain’s office during their conversation.
The woman testified earlier in the day that she had left Donah and stayed with relatives or friends a few times throughout their relationship but returned to him each time.
“I didn’t feel like I had any other option,” she said. “I didn’t have any money.”
“Trevor was someone I cared about.”
She also said she had low self-esteem and often didn’t feel good about herself.
The young woman was composed for most of her testimony, though she cried at times and sometimes appeared nervous.
Donah, dressed in a black suit and tie, sat between his attorneys, watching intently as she delivered her testimony throughout Wednesday’s court proceedings.
The two met on Match.com in March 2011, she said, a couple of months after she moved from Burlington to Plattsburgh to attend nursing school.
“At the beginning, things were good, and I enjoyed being around him.”
But Donah would often criticize her appearance: the way she was sitting, how her hair looked, her eyebrows, she said.
“It hurt my feelings,” the woman told the jury. “I believed what he said.”
Donah practiced mixed martial arts, and while the two would often wrestle playfully, the woman said, there were times when he was rough with her.
She described four incidents of alleged abuse: one around May 2011, one in June 2011, one in April 2012 and one in June 2012. The woman said she asked Donah numerous times to stop assaulting her, and it took a while before he would release her.
The first was at Plattsburgh City Beach, when, as they wrestled, Donah came up behind her and choked her with his arm until she felt pressure in her head and her eyes began watering, she said.
The next incident was after leaving a party at Meron’s bar in Plattsburgh, where they had been drinking, the woman said.
Donah “slammed” the left side of her face onto the center console of his Toyota Tacoma in the bar’s parking lot, she told the court.
“‘You need to start showing some respect,’” she said Donah told her, adding that he wasn’t going to be embarrassed by her.
He told her the next day that her behavior at the bar may have reminded him of something in his past, she said, although he didn’t give details.
In cross-examination, one of Donah’s defense attorneys, Brian Barrett, asked the woman about two times she had vomited after drinking and asked if there were any substances that could be impairing her memory.
She said no.
The woman described a time when she and Donah were lying on the couch in his apartment when they began arguing.
She jokingly said to Donah, “‘You can go f*** yourself,’” she said.
She said Donah jumped over the couch, threw her to the floor and sat on top of her, pinning her face to the floor.
“He said I reminded him of the a**holes he arrests on the street every day,” she told the jury.
In cross-examination, Barrett confirmed with her that the skirt she was wearing at the time had not been ripped.
‘PLEADING TO STOP’
Another scenario she described was also in Donah’s apartment, she said.
Donah came up behind her and gave her a hug, she said, with playful wrestling that ended as he pinned her to the floor, squeezing her head between his legs.
The woman said she couldn’t breathe and lost her peripheral vision.
“I was pleading with him to stop. I told him so many times.”
The woman told both her supervisor at work and a woman who had been training her at the gym about the incident that day.
Her former supervisor will testify later in the trial.
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.