- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A Morgantown landlord sentenced to prison in sexual abuse cases involving apartment tenants faces a federal lawsuit.

The Justice Department announced the lawsuit Wednesday against Gary Walden filed in federal court for West Virginia’s Northern District alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleged multiple female tenants at residential rental properties were forced to engage in “unwanted and unwelcome sex acts.”

Walden also entered victims’ apartments without permission or notice, offered housing benefits in exchange for sex acts and took “adverse actions” against female tenants when they refused or objected to his sexual advances, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also names the estate of Walden’s late wife, Tina, and Walden Homes LLC. Tina Walden failed to take appropriate steps when apartment residents complained about the harassment, the lawsuit said.

Gary Walden was sentenced last July in Monongalia County Circuit Court to up to 10 years in prison for burglary, first-degree sexual abuse and conspiracy involving apartment tenants.

In 2008, he settled another sexual harassment lawsuit involving tenants for $175,000. That lawsuit was filed by the West Virginia Human Rights Commission.

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