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U.S. Attorney Bart Davis investigating sexual harassment in housing

US District Courthouse, Boise

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The U.S. Attorney’s office is investigating reports of housing providers trying to exploit the COVID-19 crisis to sexually harass tenants.  

U.S. Attorney for Idaho Bart Davis said sexual harassment in housing is illegal and his office stands ready to investigate and pursue enforcement actions where appropriate.

“While most landlords respond with understanding and care, trying to work with their tenants to weather the crisis, there are national reports of other landlords who have demanded sexual favors to defer rent payments. Although unaware of any reports locally, I emphasize this behavior will not be tolerated at any time, especially now,” said U.S. Attorney Davis. “The Department of Justice has not hesitated to intervene when clear misconduct occurs.”

Davis said his office would work closely with state and local partners to identify incidents of sexual harassment in housing.

The initiative is part of an effort led by the Civil Rights Division in coordination with U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country.   The goal is to address harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, loan officers, or other people who have control over housing.

The Justice Department is encouraging anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in housing, or knows someone who has, to contact the Civil Rights Division at 844-380-6178 or the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho at 208-334-1211.

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