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Morgantown landlords to pay $600,000 in sex harassment case

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The Justice Department has settled with the owners and former managers of more than 70 rental properties in the Morgantown area, who will pay $600,000 to resolve allegations that a former manager sexually harassed female tenants for a decade.

Under the settlement, approved by a federal judge Monday, Gary Walden is prohibited from managing the apartments, entering them or contacting current or former tenants.

The settlement requires paying $500,000 to women harmed and $100,000 in civil penalties.

Walden pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges in 2015 and spent 19 months in state prison.

The suit followed four tenants' federal complaints alleging groping and verbal harassment.

Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler says it's "unacceptable that a woman should have to endure sexual harassment by her landlord in her own home."

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