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Colorado landlord settles lawsuit after accusation of sexual assault and harassment of family and children

Eagle landlord settles sexual assault and harassment lawsuit for $300,000
Eagle landlord settles sexual assault and harassment lawsuit for $300,000 00:27

A Colorado landlord and property management company has settled a lawsuit for $300,000 after being accused of sexually assaulting and harassing a family who lived in one of their properties.

The landlord, Kathryn Butters, of Eagle, and the rental property management company Butters Investments, settled the case by agreeing to pay the family in question $300,000, participating in fair housing training and agreeing to be monitored by the U.S. Attorney's Office for compliance with the Fair Housing Act, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

According to a complaint filed in federal court, Butters repeatedly made unannounced visits to the family's home in 2019 and 2020 and made "unwanted sexual comments and contact" with four family members, including an 11- or 12-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy.

CBS News Colorado does not identify victims or alleged victims of sexual assault and is not identifying them in this story.

Butters allegedly made "inappropriate sexual comments to the family, including referring to the genitals of one of the children" and  allegedly sexually assaulted family members by "slapping both parents' buttocks, and grabbing the children's genitals."

The case originated as a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which investigated the complaint and found that discrimination had likely occurred. HUD then referred the case to the U.S. Department of Justice to file a civil complaint in federal court.

The settlement does not include an admission of guilt by Butters or the company, who denied liability, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

"Sexual harassment in housing is particularly egregious because people deserve to feel safe in their homes," Acting U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch said in a statement. "We are committed to protecting tenants who are subjected to sexual assault and harassment, and we will continue to work with HUD to hold accountable landlords and property managers who violate the Fair Housing Act."

CBS News Colorado left a voicemail for Butters, as well as voicemails and emails with her attorneys, seeking comment for this story but did not hear back by Monday evening.

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