At least 13 women will share a more than $500,000 settlement after a federal lawsuit said a Grand Rapids, Mich., apartment manager sexually harassed tenants.
A judge approved the settlement with the entities that own and operate Alger Meadows Apartments this week, The Grand Rapids Press reported. Federal prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Dale Vander Vennen and four companies: Jack and Linda Properties, DDJ Rental Real Estate, Calcutta Associates and LLJ, last September.
The statement said Vander Vennen “made unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances to female tenants, touched himself in a sexual manner in front of female tenants, entered their homes without notice or permission, conditioned housing benefits on tenants engaging in sexual acts and took adverse action against tenants who refused his advances.”
The settlement prohibits Vander Vennen from operating or managing residential rental properties. Address records show he is in his mid-50s.
The four closely held companies that own and operate Alger Meadows will pay $510,000 to women identified as victims and $40,000 to the federal government. Other people also could get money if they are determined to be victims.
“The magnitude of this settlement reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran said. “No woman or her family should have to endure sexual harassment to keep the keys to their home.”