A Plattsburgh-based state trooper has pleaded not guilty to forcibly raping two women while he was off duty.
Trevor J. Donah, 32, of Plattsburgh, was arrested at 4 p.m. Tuesday by state police investigators and charged with two counts of rape in the first degree, police said in a news release. First degree means the rape was done by forcible compulsion. Police said Donah was off duty at the time of his arrest.
"His arrest is the result of an investigation by state police into allegations from two female victims known to him," the release states. No other details about the alleged crimes were provided.
Although the alleged rapes occurred in Clinton County, Clinton County Court Judge Kevin Ryan has appointed Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne as special prosecutor in this case.
Champagne told the Enterprise this morning that the investigation began in September 2012, but he wouldn't say what triggered the probe. He said one of the rapes allegedly occurred in 2012 and the other in 2010. Neither took place while Donah was on duty, and the incidents were "not employment related," Champagne said.
The DA wouldn't provide the ages of the alleged victims, only saying they were adults at the time of the alleged rapes. Champagne also wouldn't provide any more specifics on how Donah knew the women.
Donah was arraigned in Plattsburgh city court, pleaded not guilty and was remanded to the Clinton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond. He was still in jail this morning. Donah is due back in court at 10 a.m. on Feb. 11.
Police said temporary orders of protection for the alleged victims were issued during Donah's arraignment.
Donah was represented at the arraignment by Lake Placid attorney Brian Barrett. In a text message to the Enterprise, Barrett said, "It is my hope that this matter will be decided in a court of law, not in the court of public opinion."
Donah attended Saranac High School and graduated from Clinton Community College in 2001 with a degree in criminal justice, according to his Facebook page. He is a 2008 graduate of the state police academy. His wages last year were $90,300, according to the website SeeThroughNY.net.
Police said Donah was suspended without pay pending further investigation.
Champagne said the case will be presented to a grand jury.
"If anyone believes they have any information relative to the ongoing investigation, please contact state police in Ray Brook at (518) 897-2000," Champagne said.
Donah's name was in the news in 2009, when he shot and killed a black bear that he said tried to take his food while he was camping with his girlfriend near a lean-to at Marcy Dam in the High Peaks Wilderness. The Enterprise used it as an example of a rash of nuisance bears being killed in the Adirondacks that summer.
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.