Trooper Acquitted on 7 of 9 Counts in Rape Trial

By: News 10
By: News 10

A Michigan State Trooper accused of raping two women who worked at a strip club is not guilty.

After a month-long trial and a week of deliberations by the jury, the verdict came back for Joseph Donovan Tuesday-- not guilty on seven of the nine counts against him. Donovan had virtually no reaction as the verdict was read for each of the counts. The jury couldn't decide on the other two.

News 10 caught up with a very relieved Joe Donovan as he was leaving court following his three year ordeal.

"Nervous... stomach... waiting," were the first three words Donovan had to describe how he was feeling just moments after the verdict was read.

"You're whole life hangs in a balance," said the trooper who's been on paid administrative leave for more than two years. "Even though no crime was committed you're whole life is hangin on a balance."

Later he was asked what it was like during his three-year legal battle.

"Not much you can do," he said. "You're life's put in limbo-- my life, my family's life-- it's all put in limbo."

Two women who worked at the strip club Cheetah's in Lansing said Donovan took them home on separate occasions and raped them. Donovan's lawyer made the case that the sex was consensual and he was targeted for being a cop.

"My life's been put on hold," said Donovan. "I haven't been able to work."

"I have four children-- it affected them, my family, my wife's family. It's really tough to put into words right now how much it took its toll on us."

Donovan says he wants to try and get his old job back as a State Trooper.


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