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The Department of Justice Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against the Owner and Manager of Rental Properties in Davenport, Iowa

News

June 30th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Justice Department announced today (Tuesday), that it has filed a lawsuit alleging that the owner and manager of rental properties in Davenport, Iowa violated the Fair Housing Act by subjecting a female tenant to sexual harassment and retaliation. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, alleges that Juan Goitia, the manager of multiple residential rental units in Davenport, sexually harassed a female tenant from March 2018 until August 2018. According to the complaint, Goitia made repeated and 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. The United States also named 908 Bridge Cooperative, the corporate owner of the rental property where the harassment occurred, as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit arose from a complaint about Goitia’s conduct that the former tenant filed with the Davenport Commission on Civil Rights (DCRC) and HUD. After DCRC and HUD investigated the complaints, HUD issued a charge of discrimination and the matter was referred to the Department of Justice. Today’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate the victim and a court order barring future discrimination. The complaint contains allegations of unlawful conduct; the allegations must be proven in court.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at http://www.justice.gov/crt. 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 Juan Goitia or 908 Bridge Cooperative, or who have other information that may be relevant to this case, can contact the Housing Discrimination Tip Line, at 1-800-896-7743, and select option number 91 to leave a message.

Individuals can also report sexual harassment and other forms of housing discrimination by visiting civilrights.justice.gov.