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Judge Rules against Uptown Landlord: Sex Discrimination Case will Continue

Posted on 04. Feb, 2019 by

A federal judge denied Jerry Kelly Jr.’s motion to dismiss the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center’s (GNOFHAC’s) lawsuit. In the suit, GNOFHAC alleges that Mr. Kelly sexually harassed female tenants and discriminated against prospective male tenants by exhibiting a preference for renting to young women.

In Mr. Kelly’s motion to dismiss the case, he asked to strike the allegations that, among other things, he demanded dates from tenants, grabbed the buttocks of a woman during a lease-signing meeting, and entered a unit without notice while a tenant was showering. The judge denied each of Mr. Kelly’s requests and ruled that GNOFHAC’s case against Mr. Kelly could proceed.

Shortly after GNOFHAC filed the complaint in August of 2018, Mr. Kelly told a New Orleans Advocate reporter that he “likes to keep [one of his properties] with just girls.” GNOFHAC’s undercover investigation of Mr. Kelly’s rental practices found that Mr. Kelly promptly and reliably returned the calls of female mystery shoppers and met with them in person about the advertised apartment units, but did not return any phone calls from male mystery shoppers.

“We’re grateful to see this suit move forward and the Fair Housing Action Center continues to stand with former tenants who have alleged that Mr. Kelly has engaged in unlawful housing discrimination,” said executive director Cashauna Hill. “We urge any person with knowledge of similar behavior to report their suspicions to GNOFHAC,” she continued.

See the judge’s full ruling here.

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The work that provided the basis for this release was supported, in part, by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this release. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government. 

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