Landlord Jailed for Racial Discrimination
A Holyoke, Massachusetts landlord will serve time after he was found guilty of civil rights violations against his tenants.
The man was sentenced to one year in jail, and will serve six months with the balance suspended for one year.
The verdict follows a two day trial. In addition to jail time, the landlord was ordered to attend counseling, comply with a permanent injunction prohibiting discrimination, engage in substance abuse evaluations, and have no contact with the victims.
Å“The defendant harassed and intimidated victims despite being subject to a court order due to similar behavior in the past, Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “This verdict and sentence shows that bias and hate-motivated conduct is not tolerated in Massachusetts.
In 2009, the Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against the landlord for violating the state’s civil rights code. The AG’s office was successful in obtaining a permanent injunction against the landlord based on allegations that he threatened, intimidated, and harassed a neighbor and her young daughters because of their perceived race.
Despite being subject to that order, the AG says the man engaged in substantially similar behavior toward his tenant and her infant child because of their perceived race. He rented the first floor apartment in his building to his tenant. The tenant, a white female, was three months pregnant at the time she moved into the defendant’s building. After the tenant brought home her newborn biracial infant, the landlord regularly harassed and intimidated his tenant using racial slurs,created concern for her infant’s safety and, ultimately, forced her to move from her home, according to the AG’s statements.
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