Baltimore prosecutors are investigating allegations made by 11 women that public housing maintenance men refused to perform basic and necessary repairs when the women refused to have sex with them, reports the Associated Press.

For instance, the lawsuit said one woman slept next to the oven because a handyman wouldn’t fix her heat without sexual favors in return.

The suit includes accounts by women who alleged they had been victimized by handymen whose neglect resulted in squalid conditions including leaks, insect infestations and dangerous mold growth. Some of the alleged abuses date back to 2008, according to the suit.

The federal lawsuit brought by the 11 women also alleges that the housing authority “actively thwarted” an investigation by the municipal employees union that recommended the accused maintenance men be fired, according to the AP report.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has taken the bizarre step of giving a preemptive vote of confidence to housing director Paul Graziano, under whose watch these allegations have been made and largely ignored.

“It’s not something that’s being swept under the rug,” Rawlings-Blake said, “and just as the state’s attorney is interested in getting to the bottom of it so is Paul Graziano and so am I.”

The state’s attorney’s investigation was announced today, but no details of how the investigation would be conducted were given.

[Associated Press]

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