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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Apartment manager in L.A. Koreatown caught sexually abusing female tenants

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A manager of a rental property located in the heart of Los Angeles Koreatown has been caught committing sex crimes against female tenants, including offering them free rent in exchange for sex and entering tenants’ homes without permission and subjecting them to unwelcome sexual harassment.

On May 11, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division filed a lawsuit against M&F Development, the owner of the apartment located at 4th St. and Western Ave., and the on-site apartment manager, Abraham Kesary, for violating the Fair Housing Act.

The Department of Justice held M&F Development liable for aiding and abetting their on-site manager Kesary’s sexual misconduct towards their female tenants and demanded monetary damages to each of the victims aggrieved by Kesary, as well as civil penalties for violating federal law.

According to the complaint, Kesary used his position as manager to offer female tenants free or discounted rent for sex, waive late fees, and even insisted on paying some tenants as much as $100 for sex.

Kesary, who worked as a full-time manager at M&F Development from 2012 to 2020, allegedly offered to grant tangible housing benefits such as waiving or reducing rent payments and late fees to female tenants in exchange for sexual acts, subjected female tenants to unwelcome sexual acts of touching and groping, made unwelcome sexual advances or comments, and entered the homes of female tenants without their permission and with no apparent legitimate reason to do so.

In one instance, the complaint states that Kesary took a woman to an empty rental unit where he forced her to engage in unwelcome sexual acts. Another female tenant that he took out to dinner was allegedly forced into the backseat of his car, where he kissed, undressed, and touched her without her consent.

“Kesary abused his power as a manager to sexually harass and victimize vulnerable tenants for years,” said U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will pursue civil penalties on behalf of the tenants who were discriminated against and harassed, as well as monetary damages to prevent this from happening in the future.”

BY NICOLE CHANG  [support@koreadaily.com]