Justice dept. searching for sex-for-rent landlord - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Justice dept. searching for sex-for-rent landlord

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC-TV) - The United States Department of Justice is searching for a Mid-South man charged with trading sex for rent in a trailer park.

The charge came as no surprise to many of Bobby Hurt's tenants.

"Mr. Bob a good old man - he just a freaky old man," said one former tenant who asked to remain anonymous.  "I done seen Mr. Bob mess with a lot of women, but it was by choice not by force," she added.

"Only thing I didn't like about him when he used to mess with them young girls - a 17-year-old girl - he used to mess with them a lot."

The lawsuit filed by the justice department charges Hurt, the former property manager and owner of several West Memphis trailer parks, sexually harassed and threatened female tenants in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

It claims Hurt's violations included unwanted sexual touching and threatening eviction if tenants refused his advances.

The justice department is seeking monetary damages for the alleged victims. 

The lawsuit also names Hurt's wife because she owned several of the properties at one time.

Henry Brigham says his former girlfriend and his cousin's girlfriend were aproached by Hurt. He says they refused his advances, but others did not."If they couldn't pay the rent, if they could exchange some kind of favors for him, then they could continue to stay in one of his trailers."

Residents told Action News 5 that most of the women involved have since moved elsewhere.

Hurt could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

One tenant said the former landlord is living abroad.

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