(WFRV) – A lawsuit has been filed against two Wisconsin residents due to alleged incidents of sexual harassment happening to their tenants.

According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a complaint was filed against Richard and Mary Donahue, who are both owners of rental properties, in the Janesville area.

The complaint alleges that Richard Donahue has been sexually harassing several of his female tenants since the early 2000s. The lawsuit also names Mary Donahue, Richard Donahue’s wife, as a defendant.

The lawsuit claims that Richard Donahue committed the following acts of sexual harassment:

  • Made repeated and unwelcome sexual comments to female tenants
  • Trespassed into female tenants’ homes without their consent
  • Touched female tenants’ bodies without their consent
  • Requested sexual contact
  • Offered reduced or free rent in exchange for sexual contact
  • Took adverse housing-related actions against female tenants who refused his sexual advances

The DOJ is now seeking monetary damages to compensate the people that were harmed by the alleged harassment, civil penalties to vindicate the public interest, and a court order barring future discrimination. 

“Everyone deserves to feel safe at home, but sexual harassment in housing destroys that security,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act against landlords who engage in this kind of predatory and illegal behavior.”

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 the Donahues, or who have other information that may be relevant to this case, can contact the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-833-591-0291, select a language, and select option number 2, then option number 4 to leave a message.