Renters to split 510K in sexual harrassment suit

Alger Meadow Apartments in Grand Rapids. (Aug. 21, 2014)
Alger Meadow Apartments in Grand Rapids. (Aug. 21, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A federal lawsuit against a Grand Rapids apartment owner for sexual harassment has ended in a more than half-million dollar settlement.

Dale Vander Vennen is accused of sexually harrasing at least thirteen female tenants at the Alger Meadows Apartments on Ottillia Street SE in Grand Rapids.

Federal prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Vander Vennen in September 2013, which not only included Alger Meadows Apartments, but also four closely held companies that own and operate Alger Meadows.

Prosecutors say Vander Vennen made sexual comments and advances towards female tenants and entered women’s homes without notice or permission. He allegedly gave benefits to tenants who engaged in sexual acts with him, and took action against those who refused him.

At least thirteen of the victims will share a $510,000 settlement, which was approved by a judge on August 19. Vander Vennen is also required to pay $40,000 to the federal government.

Vander Vennen has been barred from owning or working on rental properties and will have to post adds in the paper looking for other potential victims.

In the agreement, Vander Vennen does not admit to any wrongdoing, but does agree to pay the settlement amount.

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