Judge denies local landlord’s motion of dismissing lawsuit based on sexual harassment

Sanjali De Silva, Senior Staff Reporter

A federal judge has denied local landlord Jerry Kelly Jr.’s motion to dismiss the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center’s lawsuit.

In August, Kelly was accused of discriminating against potential male tenants and sexually  harassing female tenants. The allegations involved instances of Kelly including sexual propositions and unannounced entries into properties.

Kelly owns several properties in the greater New Orleans area including 2324 Calhoun St., which has typically been rented by college students in the area.

During the recent hearing, Kelly asked that the allegations be stricken. In the end, U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance denied his requests and ruled that GNOFHAC’s case would proceed.

“We’re grateful to see this suit move forward and the Fair Housing Action Center continues to stand with former tenants who have alleged that Mr. Kelly has engaged in unlawful housing discrimination,” executive director Cashauna Hill said in a press release. “We urge any person with knowledge of similar behavior to report their suspicions to GNOFHAC.”

After the complaint was filed in in August, Kelly told the New Orleans Advocate that he likes to keep one of his properties with just girls. An investigation led by GNOFHAC revealed that Kelly was only returning calls to potential female tenants.

“None of the allegations to which defendants object is immaterial to plaintiff’s complaint, and therefore the Court will not strike them,” the ruling read.

This is an open and ongoing investigation. More information to come.

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