Worcester Landlord, Employee Sued for Sexual Harassment of Tenants

by | Sep 9, 2019 | Headlines, Crime, News

WORCESTER – A sexual harassment lawsuit has been filed by the Department of Justice against a Worcester landlord and his employee.

The lawsuit filed by the DOJ alleges that over the course of a roughly ten-year period [2009-present], rental property landlord Mohan Prashad and his employee, David Besaw — a level 3 sex offender –, sexually harassed female tenants of rental properties owned by Prashad, Savton LLC, and Lanaton LLC.

Prashad is the sole agent for Savton LLC and Lanaton LLC.

Besaw [in photo above] has been employed by Prashad since at least 2014 to assist with the management and maintenance of his rental properties, according to the DOJ.

“No one should ever have to choose between housing and sexual harassment,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.  “Sexual harassment is illegal under the Fair Housing Act, and my office is committed to achieving justice and compensation for individuals whose civil rights have been violated. I encourage anyone who has been subjected to sexual harassment by his or her landlord or employee of a landlord to report it to my office.”

The complaint alleges that Prashad engaged in harassment that included:

  • making unwelcome sexual advances and comments;
  • engaging in unwanted sexual touching;
  • offering to grant tangible benefits—such as reducing rent amounts—in exchange for engaging in sexual acts with him;
  • refusing to provide needed maintenance services or taking other adverse housing actions against female tenants who resisted or objected to his unwelcome sexual harassment;
  • intimidating female tenants by monitoring them from outside their apartments or rooms;
  • and, after receiving notice of Besaw’s sexual harassment of female tenants, failing to take any action to prevent Besaw from future sexual harassment. 

The complaint further alleges that Besaw subjected female tenants to the following:

  • unwelcome sexual contact including groping, sexual assault, and forced touching of their bodies, without consent;
  • exposing his genitals to female tenants;
  • making unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances toward female tenants;
  • and making intrusive, unannounced visits to female tenants’ units to conduct and further his sexual advances. 

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate the victims, civil penalties and a court order barring future discrimination.

 

Lead photo: David Besaw/Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry


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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]