Saturday, May 19, 2012

NYC Landlord Agrees To Cough Up $2M To Settle Sexual Harassment, Fair Housing Suits In Connection With Tenants' 'Sex For Reduced Rent' Allegations

In New York City, the New York Post reports:

  • The rent’s due NOW, buster! An Upper West Side landlord who knowingly employed a child rapist as his building super will cough up $2 million to settle lawsuits after The Post reported allegations that the sicko pressured female tenants to have sex in exchange for reduced rent.

  • I’m very happy,” Carol Engle, one of six women who will split the settlement, told The Post [] after signing the agreement with landlord Stanley Katz. For years, Katz had stoutly defended his registered-sex-offender super, William Barnason, as a “prized employee.”

  • Engle said that when she once complained to Katz about her high rent, he told her, “You should have been nicer to Billy,’’ suggesting that if she’d slept with him, he’d have cut her a financial break. “I said, ‘Stan, Billy is going to be the end of you, you can’t do this to people.’ And he shrugged,” she recalled.
  • In 2010, The Post, in the first of a series of articles, revealed claims by Engle and other women that Barnason — who had spent 14 years in prison for raping and molesting three young Long Island girls — tried shaking them down for sex, often drunk, sometimes while trying to barge into their rooms. The women said that complaints to Katz and his son, Stephen, fell on deaf ears — and that all three men routinely referred to them as “just another whore looking for a free ride.”
  • Months afterward, the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office sued the Katzes and Barnason for violating the federal Fair Housing Act by sexually harassing female tenants — believed to be the first-ever lawsuit of its type. [...] A jury trial in the case was supposed to begin Monday — but was canceled after the Katzes and Barnason signed off on the deal.
  • US Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The conduct alleged in this case subjected Stanley Katz’s female tenants to forms of harassment that would be unacceptable in any environment, let alone in their homes. It was also blatantly illegal.”

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