By Alan Neushauser
DNAinfo New York Reporter/Producer
MANHATTAN — The super, landlord and building manager at three Upper West Side apartment buildings have agreed to pay more than $2 million to female tenants they allegedly subjected to "severe, unwelcome and pervasive sexual harassment," it was announced Tuesday.
Combined with $55,000 in civil penalties, the settlement represents the largest recovery ever in a sexual harassment suit brought by the United States under the Fair Housing Act.
The women claimed that the super, William Barnason — who was released from prison in 2001 after serving more than 14 years for the rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of three Long Island girls — traded reduced rent for sexual favors.
He also reportedly drugged and attempted to rape at least one woman, according to the New York Post.
The tenants argued that landlord Stanley Katz and his son, Stephen, who worked as the buildings' manager, were allegedly complicit by both ignoring Barnasons' actions and by hiring a Level 3 sex offender for a job that provided him with the keys to more than 50 apartments.
Barnason worked at Katz's properties at 144 West 73rd Street, 140 West 75th Street, and 142 West 75th Street.
He was fired in Feb. 2010, after the Post reported that he was a convicted child rapist.