Lamothe Law Firm Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit Under a Theory of Housing Discrimination

by Julien G. Lamothe

On February 3, 2021, attorneys Frank Lamothe, Kristi Schubert, and Julien Lamothe filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a woman claiming her landlord sexually assaulted and harassed her. Because the alleged acts occurred within a landlord-tenant relationship, the suit also asserts the defendant’s misconduct constituted sexual discrimination prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act and the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act.

A “Goodbye Hug”

The plaintiff leased residential property in Covington, Louisiana, from the defendant, the chairman of a local bank.

According to the complaint, in December 2020, the defendant asked the plaintiff to come to his office to pay rent he claimed she owed on the home. After the plaintiff entered the defendant’s office, he asked his assistant to leave and the door locked behind her. After a brief conversation, the plaintiff attempted to exit the office, and the defendant requested a “goodbye hug” from her. As the two hugged, the defendant placed his hands under the plaintiff’s shirt, against her bare skin, in a sexually suggestive manner. He then moved his hands down her body and onto her buttocks.

Shocked at the defendant’s behavior, the plaintiff retreated and told him his touching was inappropriate, to which he replied that he wanted to “make [her] feel good.” Instead of relenting, the defendant placed one hand between the plaintiff’s thighs and touched her vaginal area. With his other hand, he massaged his penis in a sexual manner.

The plaintiff again protested to the defendant that his conduct was inappropriate. She pulled away, unlocked the door, and fled the office. She then went to the police to report the incident.

Compensation for Sexual Assault, Battery, and Harassment

Because of the defendant’s sexual assault, battery, and harassment, the plaintiff feels unsafe living at the residential rental property. Further, she fears the defendant, because of his position, will retaliate against her, including jeopardizing her housing and her home. She is seeking compensation for the emotional and financial harm the defendant caused her.

The attorneys at the Lamothe Law Firm have successfully represented adults and children who have survived sexual abuse, harassment, and discrimination. If someone has made unwanted sexual advances to you or deliberately touched you in a sexual manner against your wishes, please contact us today. The law gives you a limited amount of time to file your claim and obtain the justice you deserve.

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