A Massachusetts landlord will pay $450,000 to settle allegations he made serial sexual harassment and assault of female tenants.

Longtime Chicopee, Mass., landlord Salazar Dos Santos will pay victims $425,000 and a $25,000 civil penalty to settle a 2019 lawsuit filed against him. Ministry of JusticeAs part of the settlement, dos Santos is also barred from managing any residential properties and must hire an independent property manager.

For decades, dos Santos managed eight properties, including about 40 individual units, in the city of Chicopee, outside of Springfield, the capital of Massachusetts, over decades, the lawsuit said. Various trusts related to him own the properties, including the Salazar dos Santos Trust and the United States dos Santos Trust, which are named as defendants in the Justice Department lawsuit.

The Justice Department lawsuit alleges that for more than a decade, dos Santos harassed and assaulted tenants, often offering sex in exchange for rent.

The Justice Department lawsuit alleges that between 2008 and 2009, Salazar Dos Santos coerced female tenants into performing oral sex on him, exposing his penis to them, subjecting them to unwanted sexual touching and advances, and threatening those who resisted and Women against his sexual harassment.

A former tenant told the Justice Department that dos Santos demanded that she pay the rent herself, would lock his office door and demand that she perform oral sex on him. He forced her to do so in front of the tenant’s baby when she had no children, the suit alleges.

Another female tenant told the Justice Department that dos Santos entered her home in 2019, removed his penis, masturbated and demanded oral sex. She viewed his harassment as “a type of implicit sex-rental,” the lawsuit said.

“Forcing tenants to perform sexual acts and retaliation against those who resist is one of the worst forms of sexual harassment we see today,” Assistant Attorney General Christine Clark said in a news release.

The investigation is part of the Justice Department’s Housing Sexual Harassment Initiative, which is being led by the Civil Rights Division. The Justice Department launched the initiative in October 2017 at the start of the national #MeToo movement. Since then, the initiative has secured more than $10 million in settlements for victims of housing sexual harassment, according to the Justice Department.

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