Legal expert weighs in on Chesterfield family eviction claim - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Legal expert weighs in on Chesterfield family eviction claim

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

A legal expert has weighed on a story that involves an alleged sexual battery of a 13-year-old girl.  Her parents are claiming the family of eight is being illegally evicted because the man they reported to police is also their landlord and the husband's employer.  The girl's father says he worked as a farm hand in exchange for $200 a week and a house for his family.  Her parents believe the accused man's family is trying to kick them off the property because of the charges brought against him.

Frederick Yakelewicz's daughter says they are being evicted because they're squatters.  The girl's father says he worked as a farm hand in exchange for $200 a week and a house for his family.  Her parents believe the accused man's family is trying to kick them off the property because of the charges brought against him.

Kristen and Jerry say right after they accused 62-year-old Frederick  Yakelewicz, their landlord and Jerry's employer, and police questioned him about the alleged aggravated sexual battery of their then 13-year-old daughter, retaliation allegedly started immediately. The allege victim’s mother, Kristen says, "That afternoon, they fired him and told us to get out."  

Yakelewicz is charged and being held without bond on two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a victim, 13 to 14 with force. The girl's family says during the two weeks before Yakelewicz was formally charged, their water was shut off. They say the landlord told them there's a leak but, Kristen and Jerry believe it was done in retaliation and to force the six kids and their parents out.  Kristen says, "It just feels wrong. He did something wrong. My husband has worked 365 days a year for these people.  They've victimized my daughter and now they're turning around and victimizing all six of them."

Central Virginia Legal Aid Society says they're not squatters.  They're legal tenants and have rights and protections. Martin Wegbreit says Kristen and Jerry should go to Chesterfield General District Court and file for relief from unlawful exclusion, form DC 431.   Wegbreit says, “At a minimum ask a judge for them to put the water back on. If the landlord disobeys the judge's orders there can be sanctions which can include additional jail time or court fines. Judges do take that seriously when landlords take the law into their own hands."

Legal aid says they should also ask for their petition to be heard the same day as the landlord's eviction hearing. Wegbreit goes on to say, “There's absolutely no question that he's a tenant. It's not like he just moved on to the property and started living there without any obligations or the landlord employer. He clearly had an obligation. The landlord employer he clearly had a binding agreement. A binding contract. Clearly a tenant."

Both families appear in court on Oct. 26 for the first of what's playing out to be an emotional eviction hearing.

Call 345-1212, if you would like to help the family as they face the possibility of being homeless.

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