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Judge rules against Somali-American tenant in housing case

August 3, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A federal judge says a Burlington landlord didn’t create a hostile housing environment for his Somali-American tenant in Vermont.

The Burlington Free Press reports Binti Mohamed had said Michael McLaurin told her and her children to “go back to Africa” and entered her apartment without warming, deliberately pulling back the curtain while she was in the shower.

But Judge Christina Reiss wrote in a decision that Mohamed didn’t prove McLaurin intended to expose Mohamed’s body. McLaurin denied the allegations.

Reiss wrote that McLaurin’s behavior was “offensive” at times, but his conduct was “insufficiently severe or persistent to create a hostile housing environment.”

Mohamed accused McLaurin of violating the federal Fair Housing Act. She was the third Somali-American woman to do so since 2014. One settled and another’s case was dismissed.

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This story has been corrected to show Mohamed’s first name is Binti, not Bitni.

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