Wilkesboro Man Exits Real Estate Business In Sexual Harassment Settlement
A Wilkesboro man has been barred from the real estate business under an agreement with federal authorities.
The U.S. Justice Department says it has settled a lawsuit with Robert Hatfield involving federal fair housing and credit laws.
“Abusing power and control over housing and credit by committing acts of sexual harassment is an abhorrent and intolerable violation of every woman’s right to equal housing and credit opportunities,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a release.
Hatfield was accused of sexually harassing 17 female renters or homebuyers. He denies groping tenants and offering to cut or erase payments in exchange for sexual favors.
He’s paying the women more than half a million dollars and giving up ownership of all his rental properties as part of the settlement.
The Justice Department says the lawsuit is one of nine nationwide in the last two years targeting sexual harassment in housing.