Justice Department files sexual harassment lawsuit against Cullman rental property owner

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that Randy Hames, a residential property owner and landlord in Cullman, subjected female tenants to sexual harassment in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The Department’s complaint also names his residential property company, Hames Marina, LLC, as a defendant.

The ABC 33/40 I-Team exposed the allegations earlier this year.

The complaint alleges that since at least 2011, Hames sexually harassed several women who lived in his residential property. The suit alleges that Hames’s conduct included demanding or pressuring female tenants to engage in sexual acts with him in exchange for rent or to prevent eviction; evicting female tenants when they refused his advances; making female tenants feel unsafe by stalking them and entering their residences without permission; and making unwelcome sexual comments and advances.

“The alleged behavior of Randy Hames is abhorrent and repulsive. We will not let women, or any person, in our district be threatened, harassed, or retaliated against by landlords,” said U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town for the Northern District of Alabama. “The Fair Housing Act is an extraordinary tool that allows the Department of Justice to protect all tenants from egregious misconduct, like sexual harassment, and we will continue to strongly enforce all violations of it.”

The Justice Department’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative was launched last October and expanded nationally in April 2018. The initiative specifically seeks to increase the Department’s efforts to protect individuals from harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, security guards, loan officers, or other people who have control over housing.

The Justice Department has filed or settled 10 sexual harassment cases and has recovered more than $1.6 million for victims of sexual harassment in housing since last year.

The federal lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate the victims, civil penalties, and a court order barring future discrimination. The complaint contains allegations of unlawful conduct.

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of sexual harassment or discrimination at rental property owned or operated by Randy Hames or Hames Marina, or who have other information about this case, should contact the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at (800) 896-7743.

Attorney Hames also faces criminal charges in Cullman County which include human trafficking, stalking and solicitation of prostitution.

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