A convicted child sex offender who worked for eight years as a superintendant at three buildings on Manhattan's Upper West Side has been sued by the United State's attorney's office, which accused him of sexually harassing female tenants and demanding sexual favors in exchange for reductions in rent.
According to the lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, the superintendant, William Barnason made unwanted verbal advances and threats to female tenants. He grabbed several women inapprpriately, the lawsuit said and attempted to enter their apartments while drunk.
When tenants ignored his advances, Mr. Barnason yelled obscenities, withheld their mail and refused to make repairs.
The buildings' landlord was also named in the suit. According to the U.S. attorneys' office, the landlord received many complaints about the superintendant's behavior but took no action.
Mr. Baranson had been harassing many female tenants since at least 2007.
Mr. Baranson has since been fired.
The suit was filed under the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in connection with rental property, or in the provision of services in connection with them.