Creepy California landlord who offered cheap rent in exchange for SEX – and evicted the women who rejected him – is ordered to pay up to $230,000 to his victims
- Larry Nelson reached an agreement with the Justice Department last week to resolve a lawsuit that alleged he sexually harassed female tenants
- Nelson was ordered to pay fines of up to $230,000 to each victim
- The lawsuit claimed that for nearly 20 years Nelson offered female tenants cheap rent at his properties in San Diego in exchange for sex
- Nelson allegedly used eviction or the threat of eviction to coerce his victims
A California landlord who offered women cheap rent in exchange for sex has been ordered to pay fines of up to $230,000 in restitution to his victims in a landmark court decision.
The Justice Department announced last Thursday that it had reached an agreement with Larry Nelson to resolve a Fair Housing Act lawsuit which alleged that he sexually harassed female tenants while owning and managing rental properties in the San Diego area.
The lawsuit alleged that for nearly 20 years Nelson had engaged in a pattern of ‘unwelcome sexual touching, offers to reduce monthly rental payments in exchange for sex, making unwelcome sexual comments and advances, making intrusive and unannounced visits to female tenants’ homes to further his sexual advances, and evicting or threatening to evict female tenants who objected to or refused his sexual advances’.
‘People deserve to be safe in their homes,’ Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in announcing the agreement.
‘Sexual harassment in housing deprives them of that security. The Justice Department will not tolerate landlords who abuse their power by sexually harassing their tenants and will continue vigorously to pursue allegations of sexual harassment.’
California landlord Larry Nelson was ordered to pay $200,000 fines to female tenants whom he offered cheap rent in exchange for sex. Pictured are two of his rental properties
‘Abusive landlords in San Diego and Imperial counties should be on notice that protecting the civil rights of citizens in our district is a top priority, and we do not tolerate discrimination and harassment in housing,’ said Acting US Attorney Randy S. Grossman for the Southern District of California.
‘Holding a key to someone’s property is a position of trust, not a license to engage in illegal sexual harassment and sexual demands.’
Under the agreement, Nelson must pay at least $205,000 to $230,000 in damages to tenants harmed by his harassment, as well as a $25,000 civil penalty to the United States.
A judgment for an additional $350,000 also was entered against Nelson in favor of the United States, but was suspended for the time being based on sworn disclosure statements reflecting Nelson’s financial situation.
Any misrepresentation or omission by Nelson on those disclosure statements will trigger immediate collection of the suspended $350,000 judgment, according to the Justice Department.
Nelson is also prohibited from being involved in property management of rental units in the future, and must hire an independent professional property manager.
He must also implement ‘a nondiscrimination policy and complaint procedure’ and must release judgments obtained against victims whom he wrongfully evicted, according to court documents.
Nelson reached an agreement with the Justice Department last week to resolve a lawsuit that alleged he sexually harassed female tenants over a nearly 20-year period
As the Daily Mail reported last month, British lawmakers were looking to pass a piece of similar legislation that would make prosecuting such creepy landlords much easier – helping facilitate prosecutions with sentences of up to seven years in prison.
‘Sex for rent’ is exploitation – pure and simple,’ Labor’s schools spokesman Peter Kyle said in a statement last month. ‘This government is refusing to act even when it sees routine sexual exploitation like this.’
‘Labor have acted. We’ve drafted powerful new offences to crack down on these vicious landlords, and on the websites that host them. Now it’s up to the Government to help us pass these amendments.’
Nelson’s case was jointly litigated by attorneys in the Civil Rights Division and the Civil Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
The goal of the department is to address sexual harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, loan officers, or other people who have control over housing, according to the Justice Department.
Since launching the initiative in October 2017, the Department of Justice has filed 21 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in housing and recovered over $2.5million for victims of such harassment.