The Department of Justice Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Owners of Rental Properties in Muskegon, Michigan – NATION AND STATE

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, alleges that Darrell Jones sexually harassed female tenants of rental properties that he owned from at least 2008 to 2018. According to the complaint, Jones made repeated and unwelcome sexual comments, touched female tenants’ bodies without their consent, requested sexual favors, offered reduced or free rent in exchange for sex, and retaliated against female tenants who refused his sexual advances. The lawsuit also names as defendants Fatima Jones and Jones Investing LLC, co-owners of several of the rental properties where the harassment occurred.

“No woman should be forced to suffer sexual harassment to keep her home,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from sexual harassment and retaliation by their landlords, and the Justice Department will vigorously pursue those who engage in such reprehensible and illegal conduct.”

“My office looks forward to vindicating the rights of these tenants,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge for the Western District of Michigan. “I would like all tenants in West Michigan to know that we are here to help if they experience sexual harassment by a landlord or property manager. No one should have to choose between housing and freedom from sexual harassment.”

Today’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate the victims, civil penalties to vindicate the public interest, and a court order barring future discrimination. The complaint contains allegations of unlawful conduct; the allegations must be proven in federal court.

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