Landlord accused of groping women takes plea deal

Mug shot of Frank Tjoelker.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A landlord accused of inappropriately touching women who were interested in renting an apartment has taken a plea deal.

Frank Tjoelker, 43, of Grand Rapids, pleaded no contest to two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. As part of the plea deal, two other cases will be dropped.

A woman told investigators that she contacted Tjoelker about renting an apartment he owns in Byron Township after finding the listing online, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.

While she was filling out an application, she said Tjoelker groped her, tried to pull her pants down and pulled her towards him by her hair. The victim was able to push him away and leave the apartment, authorities said.

In another incident, according to court records, a woman said that she went to look at an apartment and Tjoelker began massaging her back without permission. She said she told him to stop, but he then reached down her shirt and bra and touched her breasts.

Two more women later came forward with similar accusations.

Tjoelker is expected to be sentenced on Dec. 21. A fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge carries a maxiumum sentence of two years in prison.