Landlord groping suspect to pay $150K to victims

Mug shot of Frank Tjoelker.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids landlord accused of groping women he was showing apartments will pay $150,000 to his alleged victims.

The payout to 10 women comes as the result of a U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division lawsuit against property manager and owner Frank Tjoelker, 44.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday and settled a day later.

Tjoelker must also pay $10,000 in fines to the United States.

Tjoelker was sentenced in December 2016 to probation and 180 days in the Kent County Jail after pleading no contest a month prior to two counts of fourth-degree criminal conduct after at least four women who met him to discuss renting apartments said he groped them.

“No woman should ever have to endure sexual harassment to secure a roof over her head,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore in a written statement.

Tjoelker must also hire an independent manager for his rental properties which he still owns.

Anyone who believe they may have been victims of housing discrimination by Tjoelker or who have information about this matter can contact the Justice Department by phone at 1.800.896.7743, mailbox No. 4, or at fairhousing@usdoj.gov.