Sexual harassment lawsuit filed against owners of Western Pa. rental property

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Allen and Heidi Woodcock are the owners of the rental property

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OIL CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – A federal lawsuit was filed Monday against managers of a rental property in Oil City, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Allen and Heidi Woodcock are the owners and managers of the rental property.

Prosecutors allege that Allen sexually harassed a female tenant in April 2019 after he entered her home to perform maintenance.

According to the complaint, Allen touched the tenant’s body without her consent and forcibly tried to kiss her.

The Woodcocks evicted the tenant after she reported the harassment to Heidi, prosecutors said.

“People should never have to endure sexual harassment in their home, where they should feel safe and secure,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act against landlords who engage in this kind of abusive and illegal behavior.”

The former tenant filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). After HUD’s investigation, it issued a charge of discrimination and the matter was referred to the Justice Department.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and a court order barring further discrimination.

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of sexual harassment or other types of housing discrimination at rental dwellings owned or managed by the Woodcocks, or who have other information that may be relevant to this case, should call the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov or submit a report online.

Individuals can also report sexual harassment and other forms of housing discrimination by contacting HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or by filing a HUD complaint online.

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