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Former tenant speaks out against Davenport landlord following settlement in sexual harassment lawsuit

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:15 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A federal sexual harassment lawsuit involving a former tenant and a Davenport landlord reached a settlement on Tuesday.

The suit alleges that Juan Francisco Goitia, the owner of rental company 908 Bridge Cooperative, had been sexually harassing his female tenants for years.

In the lawsuit Molly Haan, a former tenant of Goitia’s, claims that she was repeatedly harassed while she was renting a unit at the 1011 Bridge Avenue apartment complex in 2018.

Haan says she went to the Davenport Civil Rights Commission with her claims after she left the apartment in July of 2018. She had been renting from Goitia since March that year.

“I had months and months of constant harassment, intimidation [and] bullying,” said Haan.

She says that during her tenancy, Goitia repeatedly propositioned her for sex and would enter her apartment without her consent.

“He came into my house a few times,” Haan says, “one time I was in the shower and he didn’t leave. It was very specific and targeted towards my body.”

In August 2018, Haan issued a temporary sexual abuse protective order against Goitia through the Scott County courts. Goitia was not criminally charged.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in 2020 by the Department of Justice against Goitia and 908 Bridge Cooperative, evidence was found during an investigation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that Goitia has had other sexual harassment claims by former tenants dating as far back as 2010.

A $135,000 settlement was reached between Goitia’s representatives and the US District Court for Southeast Iowa.

Along with the fee, the settlement states that Goitia must hire an independent representative to manage his rentals for him. He and all employees must also obtain fair housing training and sexual harassment training.

That settlement and the terms have been submitted to a judge for approval.

TV6 reached out to Goitia, who denied the claims against him.

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