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Alleged sexual assault at Dunkin’ Donuts raises questions

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By Adrian Walker

Globe Columnist

Regina had been working at a Dunkin' Donuts in Norwood for less than two weeks when she reported for her shift Dec. 6.

It was a Sunday afternoon, and the Patriots were playing. Customers were sparse at first, then nonexistent, as she went about making sandwiches.

Regina says her shift supervisor, Wayne Sullivan, invited her out into the parking lot, where he coaxed her into taking a few sips of malt liquor. Then, she says, he began to fondle her — despite her insistent pleas to stop. Over her clothes first and then underneath them.

Eventually, Regina says, he dragged her into a walk-in refrigerator, and raped her.


A cellphone video, that she says she took during the assault, shows no faces. But it captures a female voice screaming "No, no, no, no," while a male voice crudely demands that she submit to sex. The video is referred to in the Norwood Police Department's report on Regina's account of the incident, and I've seen it.

Regina speaks softly, almost as if in shock, as she recalls the assault that has turned her world upside down: "I kept telling him to stop, but he didn't."

The attack ended, she says, when a customer pulled into the drive-through. That gave her a chance to run out of the refrigerator and lock herself in a bathroom, where she texted a friend, who called police. Sullivan was arrested and charged with rape. He was arraigned the following day in Dedham District Court, and he pleaded not guilty.

As disturbing as the incident itself was, the reaction of her employers was also upsetting. A store manager who knew about the assault, she says, texted to ask if she was available to work the following day.

"They wanted to put her right back in the environment where she was raped," said her attorney, Ernst Guerrier. "They've offered no support, no medical care, nothing." At Guerrier's insistence, she has refused to return to work since the day after the assault.


Guerrier maintains that the store's owner, Carlos Andrade, has taken no steps to provide a safe working environment for his employees, or even to express basic sympathy. Andrade, holds 43 Dunkin' Donuts franchises, according to his company's website; his family owns hundreds more.

I tried to speak to Andrade, who referred my request to a Dunkin' Donuts spokesman. The Canton-based company responded with a statement saying staff safety is its top priority.

"The franchisee who owns and operates this location informs us he is cooperating fully with the police investigating this incident," said Dunkin' Donuts spokesman Justin Drake. "We understand the suspect has been turned in to local authorities." Further questions were directed to police.

Sullivan, the alleged assailant, has not yet been indicted. That incenses Guerrier, who insists that the evidence supports additional charges and much higher bail. He also believes that Dunkin' Donuts does too little to screen employees. Sullivan had numerous prior arrests, including one in 2014 involving enticing a child into sex. He was put on probation after that case was continued without a finding, and remained so when the attack on Regina occurred.

Certainly, Sullivan's actions are, at this point, only alleged. But the chilling description of the events that day and the words attributed to him on the cellphone video raise serious questions about employee safety. The owner of the store should be held to account. And Dunkin' Donuts should do far more to aid this victim and hold its franchise owners accountable for what happens in their stores, regardless of the business relationship.


There's a strong argument that Regina has been victimized twice — by her supervisor and by corporate indifference. She barely looks up as she explains why it haunts her.

"Honestly, I just feel like if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone."

Adrian Walker is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at walker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Adrian_Walker.