The Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a lawsuit alleging that the owner of rental properties in Elizabeth, New Jersey, violated the Fair Housing Act by subjecting tenants to sexual harassment, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

The complaint alleges that Joseph Centanni, who owns hundreds of rental units in and around Elizabeth, has subjected tenants and applicants to sexual harassment on multiple occasions since at least 2005.

“No one should ever be forced to provide sexual favors, or otherwise endure sexual harassment, as a condition to keep or obtain housing,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “Sexual harassment in housing is illegal under the Fair Housing Act, and we will vigorously enforce this federal law to end this depraved type of behavior.”