A creepy Kansas landlord repeatedly groped and badgered female tenants for sex in exchange for rent – evicting them when they didn’t comply, a federal lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, accuses Wichita landlord and property manager Thong Cao of sexually harassing at least two female renters at his properties from at least 2010 to 2014.
“No woman should have to endure sexual harassment in order to remain in her home,” said John Gore, acting assistant attorney general.
The complaint, obtained by the Wichita Eagle, named two women who said they were victims of unwanted sexual advances and threats from Cao.
One woman said she started renting an $800-a-month unit from Cao and his wife, Mai, in 2010.
She accused him of “entering her unit unannounced and touching her body while she slept in bed … Grabbing or touching her buttocks … telling (her) that if she slept with him once a week, she would not have to pay rent … Repeatedly asking her for sex.”
After she refused his advances, he allegedly evicted her for failure to pay rent and she moved out in 2014.
Another woman said she leased an apartment in 2014 from two of Cao’s business associates, Van Le and Tong Nguyen, who are also named in the suit.
She said Cao kept on asking her for sex, telling her he would reduce her rent and make repairs to her apartment if she complied.
She went to the police in 2014 but was then evicted, along with her grandchildren, for failure to pay rent.
According to the lawsuit, Thong and Mai Cao owned and operated at least five rental properties in Wichita.
The landlord’s attorney said Monday that the accusations were fake.
The suit seeks monetary damages for the victims and a court order barring future discrimination.
The Justice Department is also looking for other individuals who may have been targeted by Cao.