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I-Team: DOJ files sexual harassment lawsuit against Cullman Attorney

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A Cullman attorney facing criminal charges, is now the subject of a civil lawsuit from the federal government. Randy Hames is accused of violations of the Fair Housing Act as landlord and owner of Hames Marina and Mobile Home Park in Cullman.

The suit alleges Hames subjected his female tenants to "severe, pervasive, and unwelcome sexual harassment, on multiple occasions." The lawsuit contends there was a "longstanding pattern and practice of illegal sexual harassment."

ABC3340 News spoke with three former tenants who claim they were subjected to unwelcome sexual contact and that Hames threatened them with eviction. They told us Hames offered to waive rent for sexual favors.

Hames' attorney declined to comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla Ward explained, "we believe this goes on much more than we hear about." The government has launched a public information campaign to make sure tenants know their rights. Ward says many victims are afraid to come forward for fear of being evicted or their reputations damaged.

She says the law covers security guards, maintenance workers, mortgage brokers or anyone that is involved in housing.

If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in housing:

Call the Justice Department at 1-844-380-6178, send an e-mail to fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 1-800-669-9777

Hames' law license was suspended by the Alabama Bar Association.

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