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Cincinnati landlord continues to rent properties, harass female tenants, motion states

John Klosterman
John Klosterman(Hamilton County Justice Center)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 11:04 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The United States Attorney’s Office filed a motion Tuesday asking a federal judge to find a Cincinnati landlord in civil contempt of court for failing to meet the requirements of a negotiated federal agreement.

The United States sued John Klosterman in 2018, alleging he sexually harassed female tenants since at least 2013 at the 55 residential properties he and his wife Susan Klosterman owned in Sedamsville.

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

In addition, he evicted or threatened to evict female tenants who objected to or refused sexual advances and went into tenants’ homes without their permission and monitored their daily activities using cameras.

In 2020, the lawsuit was settled with Klosterman, who agreed to various terms in the agreement.

Tuesday’s filing states Klosterman violated these terms:

  • Accurately represent and update the extent of their rental property holdings;
  • Cease personally interacting with tenants or otherwise participating in rental management;
  • Secure an independent property manager for any properties owned outside of a receivership created as a result of a lawsuit filed by the City of Cincinnati;
  • Complete fair housing training and ensure compliance with a sexual harassment policy; and
  • Pay monetary damages.

According to the motion filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Klosterman continues to personally manage five rental properties, failed to secure an independent property manager, and has been accused of further improper conduct regarding female tenants.

“Klosterman’s repeated and ongoing refusal to comply with the consent decree justifies a finding of civil contempt in this case,” U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel said in a news release. “We seek to hold Klosterman accountable for his severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”

The motion asks the court to fine Klosterman $100 per day and $500 per incident until he meets various provisions of the consent decree. It also asks the court to extend the duration of the decree by nine months, until July 2026.

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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