Trooper acquitted in attempted rape case

A state trooper was acquitted Wednesday of charges he assaulted and tried to rape a former girlfriend.

It was the first of three trials involving similar allegations against him.

Trevor Donah, 32, of Plattsburgh, was found not guilty of attempted rape, second-degree assault and first-degree unlawful imprisonment, according to his attorney, Brian Barrett of Lake Placid.

It took little time for the Clinton County court jury of six men and six women to reach a verdict after it began deliberations, Barrett said Wednesday.

“They acquitted him in 39 minutes because there was a complete lack of evidence,” he said. “There was no physical evidence. At one point she had claimed to have photographs of (the alleged assault), but after there was a forensic search of her phone done by state police, there were no pictures revealed.”

Barrett said his client was happy with the outcome.

“He feels good about it,” Barrett said. “He was pleased that they were able to test the evidence and the jury saw it for what it was.”

Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne, whose office has been serving as special prosecutor in the case, didn’t immediately return phone messages about Donah’s acquittal Wednesday afternoon and this morning. Assistant DAs Elizabeth Crawford and Glen MacNeill have been handling the prosecution in the courtroom.

The allegations made by the first woman stemmed from September 2008 and were the oldest of the three. Donah faces charges for more recent alleged incidents involving two other women, including first-degree rape, third-degree assault, first-degree sexual abuse and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. Each of the other two cases is scheduled to have a trial.

The prosecution has said the alleged incidents occurred while Donah, who has worked out of the Plattsburgh state police barracks, was off duty. He was suspended without pay for 30 days beginning in September 2012 while state police internal affairs conducted an investigation, according to court documents. Donah then returned to work from October 2012 until he was arrested on Feb. 5 and indicted a week later. He was then suspended without pay until early March when he was put on paid leave.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.