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A Bellingham-dependent true estate brokerage faces accusations that it understood two of its male agents drugged and sexually assaulted feminine co-employees through function gatherings.
In a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in California last 7 days, four gals say two eXp Realty agents drugged and assaulted them — or tried to assault them — at networking and recruitment gatherings in California and Nevada concerning 2018 and 2020. A number of women of all ages say they alerted the business, according to the complaint.
The grievance names eXp Realty, its publicly traded guardian company, eXp Entire world Holdings and the two male real estate brokers.
Jennifer Lenze, an lawyer symbolizing the plaintiffs, said eXp is “equally as accountable” as the particular person agents named. The corporation “knew or ought to have known and prevented what happened to our plaintiffs from occurring,” Lenze stated in an job interview.
eXp Realty declined to comment, citing pending litigation. The two agents named as defendants did not return requests for remark.
The Seattle Periods typically does not publicize the names of folks accused of crimes except fees are submitted.
In 2021, a single of the gentlemen was arrested and billed with two counts of sexual assault related to very similar allegations, in accordance to neighborhood media stories. Prosecutors later on dismissed that scenario, saying they “received supplemental information and proof that led us to feel that we simply cannot confirm the charges outside of a realistic doubt,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal described. The guy is no extended an eXp agent, according to the grievance.
1 of the four females bringing the scenario, Florida true estate agent Fabiola Acevedo, is named in the complaint. The some others are referred to as Jane Doe.
Speaking out with her title is “the only way I will help other females to phase ahead and heal,” Acevedo claimed in an job interview. “It’s aspect of my therapeutic course of action, and it’s essential for me to be in a position to get over what has transpired.”
Registered with an place of work address in Bellingham, eXp Realty suggests it has a lot more than 85,000 agents around the world, which includes in Seattle, Tacoma and in other places in Washington.
Alongside with typical commissions, eXp features agents incentives to recruit other agents. The company’s brokers “sponsor” new brokers and get a share of enterprise commissions from these new agents’ sales, according to eXp Realty’s website. If the new brokers in convert recruit many others, their sponsor can make even a lot more. The company collects startup and ongoing costs from agents as nicely as a portion of agents’ commissions, in accordance to the company’s internet site.
In accordance to the grievance, the two male brokers worked to “entice” women of all ages “with the promise of vocation advancement and coaching.”
Acevedo claimed in the authorized submitting that just one of the men recruited her to be a part of eXp and explained to her she ought to listing the other as her sponsor agent. The agent also prompt she participate in a networking event with the 2nd guy in Southern California in July 2018.
When Acevedo arrived at the resort for the function, she uncovered there was no area reserved for her, and the lodge was sold out. The agent who experienced recruited her advised Acevedo remain in the other male agent’s room, which experienced individual beds, in accordance to the criticism.
Acevedo stated she experienced just one cocktail with the next guy and some others at the lodge bar but doesn’t recall something afterward until the future morning. When she attempted to shower that morning, the guy entered the bathroom bare, “exposing himself to her and trying to interact her in inappropriate sexual speak to,” in accordance to the grievance.
The complaint also includes allegations from 3 other girls, all authentic estate brokers from Tennessee, Florida and California.
A single female attended an April 2019 networking party at a resort in Beverly Hills,
California, “for the function of studying during the day and recruiting serious estate agents to be part of eXp Realty at evening,” according to the grievance.
For the duration of a group gathering in a hotel place, just one of the agents handed her a drink and she blacked out right until the subsequent early morning, according to the grievance, which also aspects indications of sexual assault the girl professional the next early morning.
When she confronted the agent, he “repeatedly informed her that she was insane and that almost nothing transpired,” according to the grievance. Afterwards, he “admitted that they did have intercourse at the final function,” but “did not confess that he had drugged her,” the criticism states.
The lady “considered at that position reporting him to the authorities but assumed no a single would imagine her,” according to the criticism. “She did confide in some pals about what experienced took place.”
Two other girls explained equivalent situations at an eXp recruiting occasion in Las Vegas in August 2020.
1 lady explained she went to the two men’s suite for a group get-with each other and afterwards went on a wander with a single of the men. Whilst her memory is limited, she “does recall currently being sexually assaulted” by the gentleman that evening, in accordance to the criticism.
A further lady reported she experienced a consume at a team accumulating in the two male agents’ resort suite right before leaving for supper with good friends, then could not remember much of the relaxation of the evening. Just after conversing with other individuals, she “realized that she was drugged/rendered incapacitated,” according to the criticism.
Numerous ladies alerted eXp, the criticism alleges. Acevedo explained she instructed the latest and previous CEOs of the enterprise very last yr about the 2018 incident. The two women who have been in Las Vegas in 2020 “informed defendant eXp Realty about what took place to them” shortly immediately after it transpired, in accordance to the grievance and the attorneys symbolizing the gals.
The complaint suggests eXp “elected to continue on to disregard pleas from other eXp agents who’d been assaulted and profit from” the two male agents and their recruits.
The women are seeking a jury demo and still-to-be-determined damages.
The situation, submitted in United States District Courtroom in the Central District of California, seeks damages for allegations like negligent selecting, retention and supervision, sexual battery and intercourse trafficking, because the two brokers allegedly encouraged gals to cross state strains to show up at functions.