WORCESTER - Worcester property landlord Mohan Prashad and employee David Besaw agreed to resolve violations of the Fair Housing Act by sexually harassing female tenets, according to an announcement by Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Nathaniel Mendell’s office on Tuesday, November 23.
The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board lists Besaw as a registered level three sex offender for convictions in 1977, 1985, 1996, and 2000.
The settlement also resolves claims against Lanaton LLC and Savton LLC, which, along with Prashad, owned the properties where the harassment occurred.
A lawsuit filed in 2019 alleged that since at least 2019, Prashad subjected female tenants to harassment including unwelcome sexual advances and comments, making unscheduled and frequent visits to certain tenant units without legitimate property management reasons for the visits, and taking adverse actions against tenants who resisted his sexual overtures.
The complaint further alleged that Besaw sexually harassed and assaulted tenants and that Prashad, after receiving notice of Besaw’s harassment, retaliated against one tenant by filing an eviction action against her and failing to take action to prevent Besaw from engaging in additional sexual harassment.
Under the consent decree, subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the defendants must pay the individuals harmed by the harassment $65,000 in compensation, a $10,000 civil penalty to the United States. They must also vacate a judgment against a former tenant in housing court.
The consent decree bars future discrimination and retaliation. It also requires property management responsibilities provided by an independent manager. It also mandates the implementation of a sexual harassment policy, a complaint procedure and Fair Housing Act training, and detailed reporting on property management activities and compliance with the terms of the consent decree.
Prashad and Besaw are also barred from participating in property management responsibilities at residential rental properties.