LOS ANGELES – The Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against the property manager of an apartment building in Koreatown and the owner of the rental property alleging the sexual harassment of female residents in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
Abraham Kesary, who resides at the apartment building on South Western Avenue, sexually harassed female residents at the rental property from at least 2012 until at least 2020, according to the lawsuit filed today in federal court. According to the complaint, Kesary offered housing-related benefits in exchange for sexual acts, made unwelcome sexual comments and advances to female tenants, entered the homes of female tenants without their permission, and subjected female tenants to unwelcome sexual acts.
Kesary managed the apartment building on behalf of M&F Development, LLC, the property’s owner, who is also named as a defendant in the suit.
“Mr. Kesary allegedly abused his power as a property manager to sexually harass and victimize vulnerable tenants for years,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “Sexual harassment is a violation of the Fair Housing Act, and the Justice Department will do everything in its power to seek justice for victims of discrimination and harassment.”
“No one should be subjected to demands for sex, sexual comments or propositions in exchange for safe and affordable housing,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “A home is a place of refuge; not a place to be subjected to degrading and unlawful harassment. The Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing the Fair Housing Act and holding landlords and housing providers accountable when they sexually harass their tenants.”
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate persons harmed by the alleged harassment, a civil penalty to vindicate the public interest, and a court order barring future discrimination.
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of sexual harassment or other types of housing discrimination at rental dwellings owned or managed by Abraham Kesary or M&F Development, or who have other information that may be relevant to this case, may contact the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-833-591-0291. Individuals may also email the Department at [email protected] or submit a report online. Reports also may be made by contacting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777 or by filing a complaint online.
Source: Press Release