The Justice Department announced that it filed a lawsuit against the owner and manager of rental properties in Davenport for sexual harassment and retaliation.
The lawsuit alleges that Juan Goitia, the manager of several residential rental units in Davenport, is sexually harassed a female tenant from March 2018 until August 2018. According to the complaint, Goitia made unwelcome sexual comments, touched the tenant’s body without her consent on multiple occasions, and retaliated against the tenant for filing a fair housing complaint.
Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is 908 Bridge Cooperative, owner of the rental property where the harassment occurred.
“No woman should have to endure sexual harassment to keep her home,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from sexual harassment and retaliation by their landlords, and the Justice Department will vigorously pursue those who engage in such reprehensible and illegal conduct.”
The former tenant filed a complaint with the Davenport Commission on Civil Rights (DCRC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). After an investigation of the complaints, HUD turned it over to the Department of Justice.
“Women have a hard enough time finding a decent affordable place to live without having to be subjected to unwanted sexual advances,” said Assistant Secretary Anna Maria Farias of the HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office. “HUD applauds the action the Justice Department is taking in this matter and remains committed to working together to protect the housing rights of women when those rights are violated.”
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the victim and a court order barring future discrimination.