By Aja Seldon, KRON and Ella Sogomonian
SAN RAFAEL (KRON)– San Rafael police arrested a 38-year-old man who is accused of posing as a landlord and demanding sex from his victims in exchange for housing.
Police said, Tifiano Ariel Rodas Maldonado, took advantage of immigrants desperate to find housing.
Maldonado posted ads along laundromats in the Canal Street area where many Mexicans and Guatemalans frequent, police said.
“Most of the communications were in Spanish,” said Sgt. Raul Aguilar of the San Rafael Police Department.”Targeted toward the Spanish-speaking community, and the locations he was placing his ads.”
One victim came forward to the Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California and said Maldonado allegedly offered a key to an apartment for $2,000 a month and sex.
Detectives made a call to the ad and Maldonado answered using a fake name, Roberto Mendez. He later met up with the undercover detective, police said. Members of the community were shocked to hear that he could have abused their own people who are already in a stressful position being unable to find housing without a rental or credit history. Maldonado was arrested for felony fraud and prostitution charges. He has since posted bail and was released.