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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  • by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2011 at 05:25 AM
    I hate to say this but if the women had not worked in a strip club the odds are the verdict might have been different.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2011 at 08:14 AM in reply to
      exactly!! It's freaking bs, is what it is! I know him. And I also know that he is guilty. It makes me sick.
  • by pete Location: laingsburg on Mar 22, 2011 at 05:04 PM
    Come on have you ever meet a honest stripper
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:55 PM in reply to pete
      are you being serious, right now Pete??
  • by Eric Location: Lansing on Mar 22, 2011 at 01:48 PM
    Alright, about time some of these officers around here got what they deserve since the internal affairs departments aren't doing it. Many of the police, not all...many are very good, are abusers. They can arrest people, and have no problem with this, but they are the worst for abusing. This guy deserves to get 20 years in prison. Many police, around the world, take advantage of their position. There has been a lot of bad cops in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Detroit areas. Time for these guys to get it.
    • reply
      by Interested on Mar 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM in reply to Eric
      Talk about discrimination! So there are a few (emphasis few!) bad police, just like there are a few bad accountants, doctors, lawyers etc, that doesn’t mean an innocent person should be punished because of them. The guy is guilty of being an idiot for the choice he made but stupidity is not illegal.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2011 at 09:02 AM in reply to Interested
        Well, if u ask me (which I know u didn't..lol)... He is guilty of abusing his "power". It is just so obscene to think that, just bc he is a cop and they are strippers, he is automatically innocent! Because, you know, that's what everyone is thinking.
  • by Rebecca Location: Concord on Mar 22, 2011 at 01:43 PM
    glad he was acquitted, those women were not to reliably in their statement, hopefully next time dont go after those type of women, you have a law to up hold.
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