Imprisoned WV Landlord Previously Convicted Of Seeking Sexual Favors From Female Tenants, & Who Settled Lawsuit Brought By State Human Rights Commission For $175K Now Gets Belted By Civil Rights Feds w/ Fair Housing Suit In Connection w/ Same Conduct
- The federal government has filed a Fair Housing Act complaint against an imprisoned Monongalia County landlord, his dead wife’s estate and their companies.
The lawsuit contends that landlord Gary Carl Walden subjected female tenants “to discrimination on the basis of sex, including severe, pervasive and unwelcome sexual harassment.”
That included the following, according to the lawsuit: Unwelcome sex acts; unwanted groping; offering housing benefits in exchange for sex acts on him or his workers; entering female tenants’ apartments without notice to sexually harass them; and threatening to “take adverse action” against female tenants who refused or objected to his actions.
Walden’s wife, Tina, who died Dec. 24, 2014, received complaints from tenants about sexual harassment but failed to act to stop it, the lawsuit contends. She also took “adverse housing actions,” or threatened to do so, “in retaliation for discrimination complaints,” the lawsuit asserts.
***Walden’s wrongdoing occurred “since at least 2006 through July 2015,” when he was incarcerated, the lawsuit contends.
Walden was convicted last May in Monongalia County of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of conspiracy and one count of burglary. He is serving 2-10 years in state prison, to be followed by home detention and probation.
- Federal lawsuit accuses Morgantown landlord of sexual harassment: 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.
- Recently-filed federal lawsuit: USA v. Walden, et al.
- U.S. Department of Justice press release: Justice Department Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Owners and Property Managers of West Virginia Homes and Apartments: Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of sexual harassment and housing discrimination at rental dwellings owned and/or operated by Gary and/or Tina Walden, or elsewhere, can contact the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743 or e-mail the Justice Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.