WASHINGTON – Cincinnati landlord Henry E. Bailey agreed to the entry of an $855,000 civil judgment against him, after admitting that he violated the Fair Housing Act as alleged in a complaint filed by the Justice Department in federal court, the department announced today. The department’s complaint alleged that Bailey subjected female tenants and applicants for tenancy to unwanted sexual comments and touching, entered the apartments of female tenants without notice or permission, granted tangible housing benefits in exchange for sexual favors and took adverse actions against female tenants when they refused his sexual advances.
“The women involved were subjected to intimidating and severe acts of unwanted sexual conduct in their homes, where they expected to feel safe,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “This judgment reflects the gravity of the alleged conduct.”
Under the terms of the consent judgment, which was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio earlier today, Bailey is obligated to pay $800,000 in damages to 14 women he sexually harassed and $55,000 in a civil penalty to the United States. In addition, the consent judgment enjoins Bailey from further acts of discrimination and requires him to retain an independent management company to manage any currently rented units and any future rental properties he acquires.
“This helps right the wrongs committed against vulnerable individuals,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart. “Going forward, the decree sends a message that property owners must respect the rights of their tenants and those who seek safe, secure housing.”
The department began investigating Bailey after Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a Cincinnati-based non-profit fair housing advocacy group, notified the department of sexual harassment complaints it had received about Bailey.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination should call the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.
Fair housing enforcement is a priority of the Civil Rights Division. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.