A former Connecticut landlord should pay $400,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging he violated the Truthful Housing Act by sexually harassing and victimizing his feminine tenants for at the least 5 years, together with evicting or threatening to evict those that objected to or refused his sexual advances.
In an settlement reached by the U.S. Justice Division’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative and introduced Thursday, $350,000 of the funds shall be deposited in a settlement account to profit tenants harassed by landlord Richard Bruno. The remaining $50,000 is a federal civil penalty.
“No individual ought to ever should endure sexual harassment as a way to get or hold housing,” Assistant Legal professional Normal Kristen Clarke of the Justice Division’s Civil Rights Division stated in an announcement.
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Bruno, who managed a number of rental properties in New London, is at present serving a 16-year sentence in federal jail after pleading responsible in 2017 to producing baby pornography with a tenant’s minor baby in one of many properties.
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In keeping with the Justice Division’s lawsuit, first filed in 2019, Bruno made unwelcome sexual advances and feedback to feminine tenants, entered their houses with out their consent, took footage and movies of tenants’ our bodies and of their feminine youngsters, and compelled tenants and their feminine youngsters to view “dungeons” or “intercourse rooms” within the rental properties.
The settlement additionally resolves claims in opposition to two restricted legal responsibility firms that owned the properties, together with Bruno, the place the alleged harassment occurred from at the least 2011 by way of 2016.
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Bruno will now be completely prohibited from proudly owning and managing residential rental properties. The property house owners should rent an unbiased property supervisor, bear truthful housing coaching and implement nondiscrimination insurance policies and grievance procedures.