In a civil complaint, the Justice Department says a Sedamsville landlord violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against and sexually harassing female tenants living in his 55 properties since 2013.
According to U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman, John Klosterman allegedly subjected women to unwelcome sexual advances, sexual text messages and photos, touched tenants without their consent, offered to reduce the rent and overlook late or unpaid rent in exchange for sex, and monitored their daily activities with cameras.
The government says Klosterman preferred renting to single female tenants, and if he found out they were in a relationship, would evict them. The complaint also alleges he evicted tenants or refused to make repairs if the women refused his sexual advances.
Glassman says fair housing is fundamental. "No one should have to experience a landlord's pervasive sexual harassment. That's not only wrong, but also illegal under federal law."
This lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate the victims, civil penalties, and a court order barring future discrimination. Klosterman's wife, Susan, is also named in the lawsuit because she allegedly knew about the discrimination.
Glassman says he knows of up to a dozen victims but believes there could be a lot more. He encourages people who have been a victim to call 1-800-896-7743 and select mailbox 9992.