A landlord is accused in federal court records of preying on a local mother desperate to put a roof over her childrens heads.
The demand for sex in order to rent a home is part of an ongoing federal trial that includes allegations of discrimination, harassment and fraud.
Allan Rothstein is the man who wrote the sex contract.
Court records show he forced a prospective tenant to sign it in November 2018 in order to rent a four-bedroom home on Wedgebrook Street near Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway.
At the time, Rothstein was the property manager for the house and also a real estate broker.
He lost both licenses after a Nevada Real Estate Division investigation. He now stands to lose a lot more if a federal judge finds him in violation of the Fair Housing Act in a lawsuit filed by his former tenant.
The facts are unlike anything experienced housing lawyer Bruce Flammey has ever seen.
“My reaction was ‘you had to be putting me on’… That nobody in their right mind would go to the trouble to draw up a contract like this.”
No one involved would talk to us as the trial is ongoing. We asked Flammey to analyze the case.
“Have you ever seen anything like this?” asked 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
“No,” said Flammey. “Not even on bar exams in law school. Nobody has ever put something like this together that I’ve ever seen. Although, in all candor, I think there’s more of these out there.”
Sources close to the case tell 13 Investigates this is not the first time Rothstein has done this and there are other victims.
Rothstein himself admitted to the Real Estate Division that he wrote the sex contract and required the tenant to sign it.
In court records, he says, “Any agreements or documents mentioned speak for themselves.”
“When somebody says the document speaks for itself, what they’re really saying is, I don’t want to talk about it,” explained Flammey.
The document is titled “Direct Consent for Sexual Intercourse and or (oral sex).”
“Who names a document that?” Flammey asked rhetorically.
It goes on to say “Please read this legal contract carefully.”
“And that’s where I started laughing,” said Flammey. “Because this is a legal contract the way the actors on Grey’s Anatomy are real doctors. This is literally not worth the paper it’s printed on.”
The terms of the so-called contract are even crazier than the title.
The tenant had to swear she wasn’t signing “under the influence of an incapacitating intoxicant, aphrodisiacs, or psychoactive substances, including but not limited to, alcohol, drugs, oysters, Bremelanotide, truffles, sea cucumber, strawberries, lobster, dark chocolate, Cocaine, LSD, cannabis or any other mind-altering chemical or substance, nor have they been given the same by the INITIATOR/S,” which is Rothstein.
“I’ve never known anybody to be under the influence of lobster,” Flammey joked. “I don’t know where you get a list like that.”
Another paragraph says the tenant swears she “does not currently have a boyfriend/girlfriend/parent who is larger, meaner, and more physically aggressive, owns firearms and/or is more possessive than the INITIATOR/S.”
“According to the pleadings, she was told if she didn’t sign this, she was not going to be able to get the unit. So, for all intents and purposes, it’s sex for a place to live. That’s exactly what it is. And it’s almost sex on demand,” Flammey said.
“What do we make of the fact that she initialed this thing?” asked Spears.
“Nothing,” said Flammey. “People sign things all the time, and the popular myth is, well, you signed it, so it’s binding. There are a variety of things you can sign that are not binding. Any contract that is against the law or public policy is not binding.”
So why would anyone sign anything like this? Court documents say in August 2018, the tenant and her five children were homeless, living from week to week in a residential hotel.
The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority threw them a lifeline, approving them for Section 8, a federal program that funds local public housing authorities to help low income families rent from private landlords.
“But one of the provisions of Section 8 is that once you’re approved, you have to find a residence that will be covered by the program within about 60 days of when you’re approved,” explained Flammey. “Now, depending on where she was in that 60-day window when this thing came up, she may not have had other options.”
Court records say she’d been allowed to move in and paid out-of-pocket to fix up the house so HUD would approve it.
“So when you slap this document down in front of her and say, ‘sign this or you have no place to live,’ that’s coercion, that’s duress,” Flammey said. “And I believe it’s a violation of federal law.”
The tenant’s lawsuit alleges several other violations including charging illegal fees and wrongful eviction after she refused any sexual encounters.
In court records, Rothstein disputes any Fair Housing Act violations.
Flammey says no matter the outcome of the civil trial, accountability shouldn’t stop there.
“There may or may not have been crimes committed here. The word extortion flashes in my mind in this kind of situation. That’s not what this trial is about that’s going on in federal court right now. But this is a good example of a case where maybe somebody ought to go to jail.”
When the Nevada Real Estate Division revoked Rothstein’s real estate broker and property management licenses, state investigators found he listed a fake address for his brokerage. The Henderson address he listed was for an auto parts store.
The state also found he repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances when he had the tenant come to his home to sign documents.
He was fined $94,000.
*Story originally appeared on KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas