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OKC Landlords Settle Sexual Harassment Claims

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of Oklahoma City landlords agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging its former agent sexually harassed female tenants, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

The settlement with defendants Rosemarie Pelfrey, Omega Enterprises LLC and Pelfrey Investment Company Inc. ends a lengthy legal battle in which the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division alleged the Walter Ray Pelfrey, who managed rental properties for the company, sexually harassed more than 40 female tenants and prospective tenants over nearly 20 years.

Walter Pelfrey died in 2018, and a message seeking comment with attorneys for the companies wasn’t immediately returned.

Under the terms of a consent order approved this week by a federal judge in Oklahoma City, the defendants will pay $1.2 million in damages to the tenants harmed by Pelfrey’s harassment and a $50,000 civil penalty.

“For nearly 20 years, more than 40 female tenants and prospective tenants endured abhorrent sexual harassment when all they wanted was a safe place to call home,” Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester said in a statement.

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