Trading sexual favors for discounts on rent, all under the threat of eviction, are just some of the sexual harassment allegations against a Spring Valley landlord.
NBC 7 talked to two women who told very similar stories alleging Larry Nelson, a Spring Valley resident, found them through Section 8 housing or would appear when they had nowhere else to go. He was a landlord answering their prayers with a vacancy in a Spring Valley apartment complex.
Nelson owns two Spring Valley properties listed in the lawsuit complaint – one at 832 Grand Avenue and the other at 9200 Harness Street.
The Department of Justice said Nelson was no hero, but rather a predator sexually exploiting his female tenants for almost 15 years.
In exchange for sex or sexual favors, prosecutors allege Nelson would offer reduced or waived rent and in some cases would even evict or threaten to evict women who refused his advances. Those allegations are a direct violation of the Fair Housing Act, the DOJ said.
The DOJ is suing Nelson and is seeking monetary damages for the accusers and an undisclosed fine if he's convicted.
The complaint describes how Nelson would peep through the female tenants’ windows, at times touch them without their consent, and on several occasions even expose himself. He would also enter their apartments without permission, hoping for sex, according to the lawsuit.
That's exactly how one woman, who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, described an encounter with Nelson to NBC7.
"I don't know about the other women, but I know he took advantage of me because he knew my circumstances and he knows I'm a single mom," she said.
The woman claims that Nelson would tell her things like, "I'll make life easier for you if you just give it to me one time.”
The U.S. Attorney's office is seeking a jury trial for this case. NBC 7 tried to reach Nelson in person by phone and email and was not successful.