Sunday, January 16

New Jersey Landlord to Make Historic $ 4.5 Million Payment to Tenants He Sexually Harassed

Centanni is part of the largest monetary settlement made by the Department of Justice in these types of cases.

Photo: Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office / Courtesy

A New Jersey landlord who was charged with demanding sexual favors from low-income tenants in exchange for helping them pay for housing must pay $ 4.5 million their victims after a historic agreement, the Department of Justice reported Tuesday.

Joseph Centanni, 73, will have to pay the millionaire sum to his accusers to resolve a federal lawsuit that alleges that he sexually harassed vulnerable tenants for 15 years.

The agreement has historical connotations as it is the largest monetary settlement ever obtained by the Department of Justice in a case involving sexual harassment in a home, informó The New York Post.

Centanni allegedly demanded oral sex and improperly touched tenants in exchange for helping them stay in their homes or receiving rental assistance.

He also threatened to evict those who refused to satisfy his demands, in accordance with the lawsuit that was filed in August of this year.

The lawsuit indicates that Centanni took renters and home seekers into vacant apartments or warehouses. where he required massages, exposed himself unduly, or forced them to touch him in a sexual way.

According to the Department of Justice, the owner had as main victims women, gay or bisexual men.

The $ 4.5 million agreed upon will be distributed to his victims through a compensation fund, the Department said.

The need for housing is a basic need“Said Acting United States Attorney Rachael A. Hoing, of the District of New Jersey through a statement in which she announced the historic agreement.

Hoing’s statement added that Centanni exploited her need and threatened to deny her victims a roof over their heads if they did not submit to her demands for sexual acts.

“We will not back down from our commitment to end sexual harassment, combat discrimination based on gender, and protect the rights of our LGBTQ community,” Hoing said.

The defendant also faces multiple charges of criminal sexual assault and attempted sexual assault. involving 20 tenants who filed in March in Union County, NJ.

However, those charges remain pending, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office noted.

Despite the agreement, Centanni’s lawyer, Raymond Londa, clarified that his client did not admit to having committed any crime,

“Centanni resolved the matter to avoid lengthy litigation,” said Londa, who emphasized that the landlord continues to deny the allegations.

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