Skip to main content

DOJ files sex harassment lawsuit against Minnesota rental property owners

The suit alleges a property manager sexually harassed female tenants.

The Department of Justice has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the owners of a number of rental properties in the Twin Cities area, alleging they subjected female tenants to "sexually hostile housing environments."

The lawsuit has been filed against Reese and Jeanne Pfeiffer, Michael Fruen, and Jeremy Martineau and their companies Fruen & Pfeiffer LLP, and M. Fruen Properties.

The DOJ is alleging that they violated the Fair Housing Act due to "sexual harassment and discriminatory conduct against vulnerable tenants."

The complaint alleges that Reese Pfeiffer "commented on female tenants’ looks and body parts, engaged in unwelcome touching, asked personal questions about their relationship status, made unwelcome sexual advances, discussed sexual topics without consent, and entered their homes under the pretense of collecting rent to solicit sexual favors."

Reese Pfeiffer act as the property manager for numerous single-family and multi-family rental homes in Minneapolis and the surrounding suburb.

The complaint argues that the other defendants, Jeanne Pfeiffer, Fruen, and Martineau, and their business entities are "vicariously liable" for Reese Pfeiffer's alleged conduct, because he acted as their agent when he harassed the tenants at properties in "which they had an ownership interest."

Minnesota U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said they will be seeking to stop the harassment, compensate the victims, and issue financial penalties.

"The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate this type of discrimination and stands ready to deploy all available enforcement tools to see that justice is served," MacDonald said.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up


11 'urban explorers' face charges after being found in Fridley sewer system

A 911 caller reported seeing a group removing a manhole cover Monday night.


Man killed by St. Paul police ID'd by family, community demands answers

The man was identified as 24-year-old Howard Johnson.

Screen Shot 2022-12-07 at 7.38.02 AM

Quick shot of snow to impact morning commute in Twin Cities

Snow is moving into the metro Wednesday morning.


Body found in burned out car near Bird Island identified as local farmer

The deceased is a 59-year-old man from rural Bird Island.

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 2.47.44 PM

Minneapolis' Khâluna named in Eater's 2022 'Best New Restaurants'

The restaurant, opened in 2021, is known for its Laotian cuisine.

ambulance, crash

3 pedestrians struck by drivers Monday in Minnesota; 2 dead

The victims involved a 39-year-old man and two 74-year-old men.

snow, plow

Shifting storm tracks: Significant storms Friday, next week?

Sven Sundgaard has the details on an interesting forecast.

Life Link

Worker suffers serious injury in rooftop fall in rural Minnesota

The man only fell a few feet, but suffered a serious leg injury.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota reports massive projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion

The huge surplus comes as the DFL prepares to assume a trifecta of the Legislature and the Governor's House.


Screen Shot 2020-02-28 at 7.44.12 AM

Court orders school to take action on sex harassment, bullying by students

The high school in Plymouth was being sued for ignoring complaints of sexual harassment.

Rent, mortgage, house, key, door

Victims of property manager's sexual harassment to get $736,000

The DOJ accused him of "sexual harassment and discriminatory conduct against vulnerable tenants."

jennifer carnahan

GOP statement on alleged sex harassment sparks new controversy for Carnahan

The statement revealed that Carnahan had been aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct made against a GOP staffer for months.

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 11.46.15 AM

Ex-employees and customers accuse Urban Bean owner of harassment, bullying

Greg Martin is the subject of allegations by former employees and customers on social media.

Jason Lewis' 2011 comments about sex harassment victims under scrutiny

The 2nd District congressman made light of harassment allegations.

No charges to be filed against Chinese billionaire accused of sex assault

The Hennepin County Attorney said it couldn't meet the burden of proof.

Rick Nolan faces calls to resign after sex harassment claims against ex-staffer

An activist group is calling on Nolan to step down from the gubernatorial race.