A woman living in Lane County has filed a lawsuit against her landlord for blackmailing and forcing her to have sex with him to avoid eviction.

The woman claims that Bell Real Estate, the company from which she rented her property, did nothing when approached and alerted about the situation, the Register-Guard reported.

The woman’s attorney, Meredith Holley, said that the woman started renting the unit from Pinewood Properties in November 2018 and moved out of the home over a year ago.

According to The Seattle Times, a federal lawsuit was filed in late March in the Eugene Division of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

In the lawsuit, the victim claims that Richard Sorric, the owner and manager of Pinewood Properties, forced and blackmailed her into a sexual relationship to keep herself safe from eviction. When the victim later refused to continue having sex with him, Sorric retaliated and asked for back rent.

Sorric’s company proceeded to sue her in small claims court and then in Circuit Court for back rent and other costs.

Nearly all of the claims made by the victim in her federal lawsuit have been denied by Sorric’s attorneys who also represent his companies such as Bell Real Estate and Pinewood Properties. The attorneys' claim that her lawsuit fails to state a claim and was filed too late for damages.

Jeffrey Daly, one of Sorric’s attorneys, wrote in an email that his client “absolutely and categorically denies the defamatory allegations made against him in the plaintiff’s Complaint.”

"Rick Sorric has developed properties in the Eugene/Springfield area for decades, providing quality housing for individuals and families of all races and backgrounds," Daly wrote. "He will defend his reputation vigorously in this case and beyond. He is confident that a jury possessing all of the facts will fully vindicate him."

Daly adds that Bell also has "denied all wrongdoing in this matter, and will continue to do so."

Holley, the victim’s attorney came to her support. She said that the situation had been “terrifying for the woman.”

“She’s felt personally threatened, humiliated, and really afraid for her kids. Though she moved out of the property more than a year ago, the family is still going through therapy," Holley said.

A Lane County woman has filed a lawsuit against her landlord for blackmailing and forcing her to have sex with him to avoid eviction. PIXABAY

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