EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by a woman who rented from a Bell Real Estate subsidiary alleges the property owner harassed her then coerced her into having sex with him to avoid eviction.
The woman claims the company did nothing when alerted to the situation, The Register-Guard reported.
In a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Eugene in March, a woman living in Lane County claims Pinewood Properties owner and manager Richard Sorric coerced her into a sexual relationship to keep her home then retaliated and asked for back rent when she refused to keep having sex with him.
The newspaper and The Associated Press do not identify survivors of sexual harassment or abuse without their consent. The lawsuit uses a pseudonym “because of the sensitive, humiliating and stigmatizing nature of the factual allegations” in the case, according to a complaint footnote.
She started renting from Pinewood Properties in November 2018 and moved out of the property over a year ago, said Meredith Holley, her attorney.
Attorneys representing Bell Real Estate, Pinewood Properties and Sorric deny nearly all of the woman’s claims in legal filings and say her lawsuit fails to state a claim and was filed too late for damages.
Sorric “absolutely and categorically denies the defamatory allegations made against him in the plaintiff’s Complaint,” Jeffrey Daly, one of his attorneys, wrote in an email.
Daly added that Bell also has “denied all wrongdoing in this matter, and will continue to do so.”
Bell Real Estate is now suing her for back rent and other costs.