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Wichita landlords to pay $160,000 in sexual harassment case

A Wichita property manager accused of inappropriately touching female tenants and repeatedly asking them for sex in exchange for rent will pay $160,000 in damages and penalties under a settlement in a federal housing lawsuit, The Department of Justice announced Friday.

The Federal Housing Act lawsuit alleged Thong Cao sexually harassed numerous tenants since at least 2009 at rental properties he owned or operated in Wichita.  His wife, Mai Cao, was also named in the lawsuit because she owned or co-owned some of the properties in which harassment took place.

The consent order filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Kansas requires the couple to pay $155,000 in damages to 11 former tenants and a $5,000 civil penalty.  It also bars them from managing residential properties in the future.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release that “access to fair housing is every person’s right.”

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