By: Ronda Snyder
This article contains commentary that reflects the author’s opinion
This saga began in early February when I saw a post on the Kennebec Swap and Sell Facebook group about a customer who was having difficulty reaching Sandy Cross (one of several aliases of Melissa Levesque) for a custom woodworking product. The comments under this person’s post indicated that many other people had similar problems with Melissa Levesque over the years which prompted me to investigate this matter. On February 23, 2021, after speaking with many, many people, I wrote my first BUYERS BEWARE article which you can read PART 1 HERE. After that article, more people reached out to me with similar problems and experiences with Melissa Levesque and her many aliases and ever changing business names. You can read the follow up article from April 7, 2021, PART 2 HERE.
After my attempt to get a comment from Melissa Levesque at her home for my April 7th follow up article, the Levesques called the Auburn Police. Officer Joseph Miville, who had an incredibly bad attitude and who also gave them equally incredible bad advice about a harassment order showed up. The next day, the Levesques went to Lewiston District Court to obtain a Temporary Protection Order from Harassment against me. What follows is an abuse of the court system by both Donald and Melissa Levesque against someone who did nothing wrong. I merely exposed their unfair and deceptive business practices as described to me by many people who felt victimized by Melissa Levesque. Set forth below is the Levesques’ statement, under the pains and penalties of perjury, that they filed along with their Complaint for Protection from Harassment Order. I will go through the entire statement and point out the falsehoods in their statements. Let’s be clear, I wasn’t harassing the Levesques in any way. This Protection Order was simply an attempt by the Levesques to intimidate me and silence my First Amendment rights because they didn’t want their past bad dealings written about.
This is the story of how I along, with a fantastic lawyer named Matthew Morgan of McKee Law, LLC in Augusta, stopped this abuse of the court system and caused the Levesques’ attorney (I hope she got an upfront retainer) to file both her appearance on behalf of the Levesques AND a Motion to Dismiss on the same day.
Let’s start with the day I was served the Temporary Order by Deputy Boudreau of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office on April 7, 2021. As I was returning from picking up the kids from school, Deputy Boudreau followed me down the driveway. I greeted him warmly and asked if he was here to serve me and told him that I’ve been excitedly waiting for him. He replied that he was, in fact, there to serve me and quite kindly asked what was going on with this order. I told him. He mentioned that I didn’t seem upset about this to which I said, “First, I don’t even have to look at this to know it is full of lies.” I opened the Order in front of him and started to read the statement and started laughing and said “Yup. Lies.” I pointed out several false statements to him and he simply shook his head. Deputy Boudreau filled out his service paperwork and left. Deputy Boudreau seemed like a great cop and we had a fantastic interaction as I do with most cops…mostly because I am not a criminal.
I went into the house, scanned the document and highlighted sections of Donald and Melissa Levesques’ statement which was made under the pains and penalties of perjury (I’m going to keep making this statement).
Let’s start with the definition of harassment. Section 2A – THREE (3) or more acts of intimidation, confrontation or threat of physical force. Remember the number three (3).
Here is page 1 of Melissa and Donald’s three page statement they used to get the Temporary Order for Protection from Harassment. You’ll see that the Levesques think that INVESTIGATING in order to write articles is “staking” though I believe the word she meant is “stalking” but she’d still be wrong about what I was doing. The notice (or police report) she attached clearly indicates that no crime was committed, we will get to Officer Miville’s statement further on in this article in which he shows he has a bad memory for details and isn’t great at actually listening to what someone is telling him.
I’ve highlighted each section that has a different train of thought or false statement. I once took a handwriting analysis (graphology) seminar from a retired FBI agent which was fascinating. While I am by no means professing to be an expert, several aspects of that seminar have stuck with me over the years. One of the things that stuck with me is that people who mix capital and lowercase letters within a word tend to think the rules of society don’t apply to them… This statement appears to have been written by Melissa Levesque but was signed by both Donald and Melissa Levesque, under the pains and penalties of perjury.
“She has many posts + pictures of Maine Journal News where she is a writer for them without any permission from us.” This is not a lie but it’s not a a full or accurate description of what happened. First, I don’t need Melissa or Don’s permission to write an article about them nor do I need permission to include photos that they themselves placed in the public domain by posting them on Facebook nor do I need her permission to write for Maine Journal News (if one is going to take the sentence at its literal grammatical meaning).
“She has involved our neighbor (name redacted) as an informant.” Well that’s a very spy thriller of Melissa but I didn’t reach out to nor ask her neighbor to be an “informant.” Melissa probably believes this statement to be true so while it’s wildly inaccurate, it can’t be held against them since it isn’t exactly committing perjury in their statement to the court. The next sentence, however, well that’s a different story. I didn’t write my first article about Melissa Levesque until February 23, 2021. She claims “this has caused my husband to loose [sic] his job because of her posts and we had threatening phone calls…and even posted pictures of our house, our address and even our phone numbers.” Melissa Levesque used nearly this exact same wording about her husband losing his job over posts, “threatening” phone calls, posting her phone number, etc. in DECEMBER 2020 in post in the Auburn Swap and Sell group (see photo beneath the page 2 of the statement) but that post was the in response to disgruntled customers. For the record, I have never posted a photo of a house that Melissa and Don Levesque were living in and I didn’t know their phone numbers until I saw them on the Temporary Order that was served at their request on April 7, 2021. “We have never had any contact with Ronda Snyder.” Please go back to our second article and read about the email we received from “Christina Mathew.” I have the IP address for “Christina Mathew” and I am confident it would have proven to also be Melissa Levesque’s IP address if this proceeded to a hearing and appropriate discovery was requested and received by my attorney. “She stopped and parked and step [sic] onto our property with her cell phone.” I did stop my car, park (on the neighbor’s side of the street) and had my cell phone but did not once step onto her property. I was in the street the entire time.
This page of her statement also includes a request for additional actions against me which is really the heart of this entire saga and what this Temporary Order was really about: “We would also want all posts + comments to be removed from any and [sic] sites and groups she has posted any future post + comments on any sites or groups especially where is [sic] a writer Maine Journal News to be removed [sic].” I’m not even sure exactly what than run on sentence means. That’s not how the First Amendment works and no judge in their right mind would order me to remove my previous articles. If my articles help just one person from being taken advantage of by Melissa Levesque then I did good work that I can be proud of writing.
This Frost Frost account is one of the many aliases used by Don/Melissa. As you can see, it is almost the exact wording used in part of the statement to obtain a Temporary Order against me but this post was reportedly made before Christmas 2020.
Page 3 of Melissa and Donald Levesque’s statement, under the pains and penalties of perjury. I was never “escorted off by the police.“ In fact, the Auburn Police Department cars left before I did but that’s minor compared to the statements on this final page. This has gotten so bad that we had to move and change our phone numbers.” This an absolute and complete lie. Let’s look at the timeline shall we? Melissa and Donald Levesque were finally (and much to the relief of their landlord) evicted from their rental house in Turner, Maine in January 2021. This eviction information comes directly from their previous landlord. The Levesques moved into their present rental home in the Lewiston/Auburn area in January 2021. I wrote my first article about them on February 23, 2021. As such, there is no possible way this statement is even remotely true. They moved in January 2021 because of an eviction and not because of an article I wrote in February. “Ronda Snyder also contacted family members through messenger.” I don’t know the names of any of Melissa or Don’s family members and I certainly didn’t contact them by messenger. If forced to provide evidence of this statement through a production of documents request, they would not be able to back up this statement since it is a lie and never happened. “Ronda Snyder stalked us until she found out where we our [sic} living.” Maybe it’s stalking in their world but in the world of rag tag citizen journalists it’s called investigating a story. “This has been going on for way to [sic] long and have [sic] done or said anything for this to continue. This has caused so much stress to both of us that we need to do something” Yes. It has been going on for far too long but it’s not because of MY actions. People have indicated to me that they have issues with Melissa Levesque going back years and years. I have a suggestion, don’t do shoddy work, don’t give customers the run around for months on end and don’t take money from customers then never do the work. That’s the something that needs to be done and for which the Levesques need to rather than abuse the court system and make false statements under the pains and penalties of perjury. “We are in fear of our lives and our family member who have also been affected.” Fear of our lives is a wee bit dramaaaaatic. Why would my exposing their unfair and deceptive business practices (for which I am sure they have obtained all of the proper state and local permits, and tax filings, etc.) make them fear for their lives? I am not responsible for the actions of other people nor have I ever directed anyone to threaten or even contact the Levesques or any family members. I don’t condone that type of behavior. Perhaps, though, they are anxious and fearful because they know they have taken advantage of many, many customers (I have a list of over 30 disgruntled customers who feel victimized by Melissa Levesque and I don’t imagine it’s a complete list by a long shot). In fact, these business practices seems like a matter for the Maine Attorney General to me which is why I spoke to a state senator about checking into this issue with the AG’s office.
I asked you to remember the number three (3) in the beginning of this article and posted the legal definition of harassment. This final sentence in the Levesques’ statement, under the pains and penalties of perjury, is demonstrably false and completely untrue. “The dates we have on video tape of Ronda Snyder driving up and down our property: 3/12/21, 3/14/21, 3/30/21 and 4/4/21.” Notice how four (4) dates are listed and exceed the three (3) times required for a Protection from Harassment Order? On 3/12/21, I was in NH visiting my sister. I have purchase receipts with time stamps from purchases in Mexico, Maine and in NH; on 3/14/21, I was home sick in bed most of the day but I climbed out of bed to take my daughter to Barnes and Noble in Augusta. We also made purchases (receipts with time stamps again) from Walmart in Augusta. Additionally, certified copies of my EZPass toll statement were obtained by my attorney, Matt Morgan, which showed I never traveled on the interstate on those dates. On 3/30/21, I did travel to the Lewiston/Auburn area for a business matter and stopped by to see if Melissa was available for a comment. I did speak with her neighbor but I never had contact with Melissa or Don or anyone in her family. On 4/4/21, I was interviewing a parent and her children who were injured at the trampoline park on April 3, 2021 in Lewiston. I figured since I was already in the area, I’d give it one more shot to get a comment from Melissa Levesque for my follow-up article since Melissa…errrr…”Christina Mathew” was adamant that I tell the other side of the story. There was ONE (1) contact with Melissa and Don, not three (3).
You’ve seen multiple false statements made to the court by Donald and Melissa Levesque in their Complaint for Protection from Harassment. The form has a section near the signature line that clearly says “You are hereby put on notice that it is a crime to make a false statement under oath in a court document.”
Finally, the police report from Officer Joseph Miville. I’ve mentioned this before, I am a huge supporter of the police. I often surprise our local police department with pizza and baked goods. I genuinely like cops and have great conversations with many of them. Officer Joseph Miville was not one of those officers. He was aggressive from the beginning, attempted to be intimidating; and clearly has a lack of attention to details and lacks effective listening skills. Miville is the type of cop, based on my personal interaction with him, that gives other cops a bad rep.
“Ronda is some sort of free lance reporter for Maine Journal News.” I am not some sort of freelance reporter and never mentioned the word “free lance.” Officer Miville made that part up or misremembered what I said. As I mentioned, his listening skills are lacking. “She believes Donald to be a criminal and a ‘scumbag’.” What I really believe is that Melissa Levesque has committed theft and that both are scumbags. “She was concealed carrying as she admitted she was afraid of Donald.” I was concealed carrying because I ALWAYS conceal carry and whenever I am near a cop for any reason, I informed them for their safety and mine that I am carrying which I explained to Officer Miville (again those listening skills or lack thereof). Cops who aren’t complete douches typically say thank you and they appreciate me letting them know. My conceal carrying had nothing to do with being “afraid” of Donald Levesque though I would be remiss with my regard to my personal safety to ask questions of people who want to protect their custom woodworking empire if I weren’t able to protect myself from violence. “She said she did but then said that the LPD did nothing with regards to a fight at the FunZTrampoline Park last night.” With regard to calling the police about criminal activity, I never told Officer Miville that I had called the police. I told him that many victims of Melissa Levesque had called the police and the police were not helpful whatsoever. I did mention that LPD did nothing with regards to the fight at the trampoline park the previous night and they did not do anything until pressed by the parents of the boys attacked inside the trampoline park who filed charges. “Ronda left to go conduct interviews about the fight in the Lew.” Here’s where Officer Miville’s lack of listening skills come in…again. I had previously told him that I had just come from interviews about the fight in Lewiston and while I was in the area, I figured I would try to get a comment from Melissa Levesque. “No crime, but it appears Ronda is causing issues.” Yes because asking someone to comment on a follow up article is so terrible and causes “issues.”
Now you’re caught up on the ridiculousness and falsehoods of the Levesques’ complaint as well as Officer Miville’s lack of listening skills and piss poor attitude. After reading and digesting the complaint and its statement, I contacted the Law Offices of Walter McKee and spoke with Attorney Matt Morgan to whom I explained the entire story, sent links of my articles, a pdf of the Levesques’ complaint and a retainer of $3,000. After reading the documents, he called me back and asked how I wanted to handle this. I replied “Scorched Earth because this is complete bullshit.” He asked me to send him my proof showing which statements were false in the Levesques’ complaint. I reminded him that I would only be returning from Florida on April 22, 2021 and would not have enough time to obtain a negative Covid test prior to the hearing scheduled for April 23, 2021. Attorney Morgan filed and was granted a hearing continuance to May 7, 2021. Attorney Morgan also obtained documents certified by the EZPass system showing the toll records for my vehicle, scheduled a deposition of Melissa Levesque for May 4, 2021 and mostly important talked to several people who were taken advantage of by Melissa Levesque and who agreed to testify at my upcoming hearing.
On April 27, 2021, Attorney Morgan and I conducted a scheduled telephone conference to discuss my case and organize my testimony for the hearing. At the beginning of the call, Attorney Morgan told me he had an “offer” from the Levesques via their attorney. The “offer” was in order to avoid the hearing (which I did not want to do), I could agree to keep the order in place for 90 days and if I didn’t violate the order, they would dismiss it. Can you guess my response to my attorney? I apologize for those sensitive to words but my response was “No fucking way. Tell them my counter offer is they can dismiss it right now or we’ll see them at the deposition and hearing.” I have no doubt that Melissa did not want to attend the deposition and answer questions about her business dealings with the people who say they have been victims of her unfair and deceptive business practices nor did she want to respond to a yet to be filed production of documents proving that her statements in the complaint were true. She couldn’t do that because her statement to the court was riddled with falsehoods and outright lies.
On April 29, 2021, the Levesques’ attorney filed a Notice of Appearance along with a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint.
In summary, I firmly believe that Donald and Melissa Levesque (particularly Melissa) filed this complaint in an attempt to get my exposure of her business dealings removed from the internet. As a person who spent the majority of her career in the legal field, I abhor abuse of the legal system and lying under oath to get a result that likely wouldn’t have been otherwise obtained. Donald and Melissa Levesque took time away from the court where necessary Protection of Harassment or Abuse Orders could have been adjudicated. I’ve not been personally been invested in a story before but after listening to story after story after story about how Melissa Levesque conducted herself and her business, I felt for these folks. One woman has a judgment against Melissa Levesque for nearly $6,000 that is in default and because of Covid, no court date for her to get justice is yet scheduled. Another woman claims Melissa took $4,000 for a custom woodworking project then ghosted and blocked her on Facebook. She deserves justice too but the police have not been helpful. There are so many people who deserve justice as a result of their business dealings with Melissa Levesque but when one knows how to game the legal system and is willing to lie under the pains and penalties of perjury, it’s not likely these customers will get the justice they rightfully deserve. I don’t know what Facebook account name or business name, if any, the Levesques are currently using on the Facebook Marketplace or local swap and sell sites, but buyers should use caution in any online business deals. Here are some simple tips, request a signed contract specifically stating the work to be done including the quality of products to be used and deadline for work to be completed; do not send cash to someone you don’t know; and do not pay or make a final payment until you receive the product and it’s to your satisfaction
As always, thank you for reading Maine Journal News. You can like (if FB decides to show a like button) or follow us at www.facebook.com/mainejournalnews. Questions, comments or tips may be sent to us by email at email@example.com.