LINCOLN, Neb. — A landlord was ordered to pay more than $66,000 in damages Thursday to 10 women who accused him of violating federal fair housing laws by demanding sex in lieu of rent.
The award against John Koch was far less than the $1.9 million the U.S. Justice Department had sought.
Federal officials filed a civil suit against Koch after about 20 women -- many of them low-income and desperate to find housing -- accused him of demanding sexual favors as far back as 1996 in lieu of such things as rent, late rent charges and security deposits.
Koch, who owns 43 rental houses in Omaha, also was accused of inappropriately touching female tenants, entering their homes without notice and stealing items if they rejected his advances.
Some women were wrongfully evicted or threatened, according to the lawsuit.
The case was brought after one prospective tenant secretly taped Koch demanding sex once a week to rent a house from him, prosecutors said.