A St. Louis landowner agreed to pay over $100,000 in order to settle a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused multiple female tenants.
A press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice stated that Nedzad Ukejnovic would be required to pay $85 000 to "individuals who were harmed" by the harassment and $20,000 to St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council which assisted the victims in pursuing the case.
The press release stated that the lawsuit filed in 2022 accused Ukejnovic for requesting sex with tenants as a form of rent or security deposit reduction. U.S. attorney Sayler A. FLeming of the Eastern District of Missouri stated that the agreement offers additional protection to the victims.
She said in a press release that "this agreement does not only provide monetary compensation but also prevents him from contacting tenants, bars him access to his properties while a lease in in force and requires him hire an independent property management to prevent any further violations of civil rights laws." All of these measures will protect both current and future tenants.
Ukejnovic was also accused of harassing female tenants, including by asking for sexually explicit pictures, staring at them in a sexual manner, touching them inappropriately, and entering and visiting their homes without a legitimate reason.
The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri approved the agreement.
After receiving multiple complaints that Ukejnovic violated the Fair Housing Act, the case was referred by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Justice Department. The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department took up the case and coordinated it with the local U.S. Attorney's Office.