Federal prosecutors ask judge to hold Cincinnati landlord in contempt for violating Consent Decree

Acting U.S. Attorney wants to 'end this reign'
A Hamilton County bailiff takes John Klosterman to jail
Posted at 9:49 PM, Jul 27, 2021

CINCINNATI — The United States Attorney's Office filed a motion Tuesday in U.S. District Court asking a federal judge to hold Cincinnati landlord John Klosterman in contempt for violating a Consent Decree.

The Decree is an agreement resulting from what prosecutors have described as Klosterman's "heinous" and "pervasive" sexual harassment of women who rented his apartments.

The Decree prohibits Klosterman from managing rental housing and interacting with tenants.

He did it anyway, according to the motion filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Acting United States Attorney Vipal Patel
Acting United States Attorney Vipal Patel

"We want to seek change and we want to seek justice for the victims," said Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel during an interview with the WCPO 9 I-Team. "We want to end this reign."

The Decree requires Klosterman to pay $167,125 in damages to 20 women who accused Klosterman of sexually harassing them.

But Klosterman has failed to deposit money in an escrow account to pay victims.

Patel said Klosterman isn't getting the message and needs to be held accountable.

"This should be sending a message of stop. Stop. Stop. Stop," Patel said.

In their motion filed on Tuesday, federal prosecutors said Klosterman told them all of his rental houses were under the control of a city receivership, which isn't true.

Asst. U.S. Attorney Matthew Horwitz said Klosterman also failed to get federal prosecutors' approval of an independent property manager for those houses as required by the Decree.

Asst. U.S. Attorney Matthew Horwitz
Asst. U.S. Attorney Matthew Horwitz

Instead, Klosterman's property managers included a tenant, a friend and even Klosterman's own sister.

"As we noted in our motion, we have not been requested to approve any property manager; nor have we approved any property manager," Horwitz told the I-Team.

A copy of the motion for contempt was sent to Klosterman's home and the Hamilton County Justice Center, where the landlord is in jail.

He's being held on $150,000 bond on each of six criminal charges against him for allegedly stalking a former tenant.

Klosterman's stalking trial is scheduled to begin next week.

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