On April 21, 2006, the United States filed a complaint in United States v. Ersil James, et al. (W.D. Mo.). The complaint alleges a pattern or practice of sexual harassment and discrimination against tenants based on sex. The conduct alleged includes: 1) unwanted verbal sexual advances; 2) unwanted physical sexual advances, such as unwanted touching of the breasts, buttocks, and other parts of the bodies of female tenants; 3) forcible physical contact with the sexual parts of Defendant James' body; 4) statements that indicate a preference or intent to discriminate on the basis of the tenant's sex; and 5) threatening to withhold maintenance service or to evict female tenants when they refused or objected to his sexual advances.
The case was referred to the Division after the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received a complaint, conducted an investigation, and issued a charge of discrimination.