MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A federal lawsuit has been filed against multiple property managers and owners in Minneapolis, accusing them of sexual harassment in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

According to U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, a property manager for numerous single-family and multi-family rental properties, Reese Pfeiffer, is accused of sexually harassing female tenants. He allegedly made unwelcome sexual advances, discussed sexual topics without consent, and entered their homes under the pretense of collecting rent to solicit sexual favors — among other incidents.

“This lawsuit alleges sexual harassment and discriminatory conduct against vulnerable tenants. Such behavior is unacceptable and a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act,” MacDonald said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate this type of discrimination and stands ready to deploy all available enforcement tools to see that justice is served.”

The complaint alleges that Jeanne Pfeiffer, Michael Fruen, Jeremy Martineau and the business entities Fruen & Pfeiffer, LLP and M. Fruen Properties are vicariously liable for Reese Pfeiffer’s conduct.

“[Reese] Pfeiffer acted as their agent when he sexually harassed tenants at properties in which they had an ownership interest,” MacDsonald said.

The lawsuit aims to stop the alleged discrimination, compensate the victims and payment of civil monetary penalites.

Anyone who believes they are a victim of sexual harassment by a landlord, or is suffering from other forms of housing discrimination, can report the incidents to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at (800) 896-7743 or email fairhousing@usdoj.gov.

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