Sexual harassment lawsuit against Cincinnati landlord settled, feds say

Sexual harassment lawsuit against Cincinnati landlord settled, feds say
For Rent sign - generic graphic (Source: WAFF)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati landlord John Klosterman and his wife, Susan, have agreed to pay $177,500 to resolve a lawsuit alleging that he sexually harassed female tenants since at least 2013 at the 55 residential properties the couple owned in Sedamsville, according to U.S. Attorney David DeVillers.

According to the complaint filed in 2018, John Klosterman engaged in unwanted sexual touching, offered to reduce rent and overlook or excuse late or unpaid rent in exchange for sex.

Klosterman evicted or threatened to evict female tenants who objected to or refused to sexual advances, the complaint said.

The complaint also said that Klosterman went into the homes of female tenants without their permission and monitored their daily activities with cameras directed at their homes.

“In this settlement, Klosterman acknowledges that the United States has evidence he sexually harassed tenants on multiple occasions. He’s being held accountable under the Fair Housing Act and will pay more than $167,000 to the victims of his heinous conduct,” DeVillers said.

In addition to the payments to the victims, Klosterman will pay $7,875 to another plaintiff in the lawsuit and a $2,500 civil penalty.

The settlement must still be approved by the court.

The Klosterman’s are also not allowed to rent or manage in the rental residential properties in the future.

Tenants can report sexual harassment or other forms of housing discrimination by calling the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, e-mailing the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or submitting a report online.

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