AUBURN — The estate of a pregnant Lewiston woman who was raped and murdered in 2007 is suing in federal court the company where she and her assailant were working the day she disappeared.

Donna Paradis, 38, and Richard Dwyer, 46, of Canton worked at Affiliated Computer Services Inc. at the Lewiston Mall on East Avenue.

Yvette Michaud, who represents Paradis’ two children, Jeannette Kontos and Sasha Paradis, is suing the company claiming it failed to protect Paradis from Dwyer, a federal felon on parole who allegedly had assaulted and harassed another female worker at that company before he attacked Paradis, the suit says.

Michaud filed a lawsuit in Androscoggin County Superior Court, but that case was later moved to federal court by the defendant, an out-of-state corporation.

Contacted Monday, a spokesman for the company commented in writing:
“ACS is reviewing the amended complaint and disputes the erroneous
allegations contained in the filing. ACS believes the suit is without
merit and intends to vigorously defend its position. However, out of
respect for the legal process we are not in a position to comment

In U.S. District Court in Maine, located in Portland, ACS filed a motion to dismiss the civil case against it. Michaud then filed an expanded complaint that included greater detail of the facts surrounding the case.


Paradis was in her last term of pregnancy at the time she was killed. Her nude body was found partially buried in November 2007 behind the Promenade Mall on Lisbon Street. Strips of cloth had been wrapped around her neck and wrists.

Dwyer was convicted of murder, gross sexual assault and robbery in the summer of 2008 in Androscoggin County Superior Court. He was sentenced to life in prison for murder with concurrent terms of 30 years apiece for the other two felonies. His appeals of his conviction and sentence to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court were rejected last month.

At the time she disappeared, Paradis and Dwyer had been assigned to work together on the Capital One Credit Card campaign to assist people applying for credit cards.

Dwyer had approached her at their office offering to help her buy a used car. She withdrew cash from her credit union and met with Dwyer later that day on Oct. 23, 2007. Police said he strangled her and used her cash to buy tools to bury her after raping, killing and robbing her.

When ASC hired Dwyer, it should have been aware that he posed a threat to the personal safety of women he met at work, the suit says.

ACS contacted Dwyer’s parole officer and received a summary of his criminal background, including a rape of a woman during a break from a job at the Bates Mill (where ACS had been located).


When ACS hired him, Dwyer had been convicted of seven felonies, nine offenses involving robbery, theft or dishonesty and had either been convicted of or had his parole revoked for four offenses involving rape, attempted rape or assault of women, the suit says.

Dwyer was on parole from federal prison for armed bank robbery when he was hired by ACS.

Some of the new details revealed in Michaud’s amended complaint include:

• Dwyer asked Paradis to accompany her on his newspaper delivery route in rural Auburn when the two worked at the Sun Journal.

• Paradis reported that Dwyer had asked her repeatedly to have sex with him and have a “quicky” in his car.

• Dwyer asked her to go skinny dipping.


• Dwyer wrote on a white board at the Bates Mill call center, “I want you to get naked.”

Another ACS worker, Missy Cassella, complained to her supervisors that Dwyer had physically assaulted her and sexually harassed her before Paradis disappeared.

During her dinner break on the evening shift, Dwyer followed Cassella outside to a metal footbridge, the suit says. He “grabbed Cassella, spun her around, touched her breasts and attempted to kiss her by forcing his tongue into her mouth.” She kneed him in his groin and ran back to the call center, the suit says.

She reported the details to a manager, according to the suit, then spoke to the human resources manager, even putting the narrative in writing.

Instead of reporting the incident to Dwyer’s parole officer and local police, ACS conducted an internal investigation, concluding that there was “nothing that could be done to address Cassella’s complaint.” She was told that Dwyer “had a reputation with the ladies,” the suit says.

Another ACS worker, Alicia Webber, reported to supervisors that Dwyer was sexually harassing her at work. She was told the company had investigated and found no wrongdoing on his part, the suit says.


The complaint alleges that the company fraudulently concealed information about Dwyer’s behavior.

The complaint charges ACS was negligent in hiring Dwyer and for not firing or disciplining him after Cassella’s reported attack.

The company was negligent for failing to supervise Dwyer and for putting him in a position where he could and did kill Paradis.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maine determined that Paradis didn’t die instantly from strangulation, but would have had several minutes of conscious suffering at Dwyer’s hands, according to the suit.

Richard Dwyer was convicted of murdering Donna Paradis in Lewiston in 2007.

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