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Philly Landlord Agrees To $6M Insurance Settlement With Victim Of 2022 Sexual Assault

The landlord of Center City's Belmont Building has agreed to a $6M settlement with an office worker who was assaulted there two years ago.


The case, brought by a woman identified as R.F. against landlord 211 N. 13th Street Associates LP, was officially settled Tuesday for the full amount of the defendants’ insurance limit, according to, citing the plaintiff's attorneys.

Attorneys for R.F. alleged a lack of proper security measures at the 211 N. 13th St. building, which allowed a stranger to enter the building and assault her.

According to, attacker Willie Harris walked past front-door security by following another person who used their keycard to get in. Harris made his way to a stairwell, walked to an upper floor and entered a law office, where he physically and sexually assaulted the victim, a 22-year-old paralegal at the time. He then fled the same way he entered, right past security, the outlet reported.

Harris was later found in New Jersey and has since been convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, strangulation and burglary, among other charges, PhillyVoice reported.

R.F.'s attorneys filed the complaint last year, alleging the building security desk's view was obstructed. The claim also cited negligence due to the stairwell door being unlocked and the lack of an alarm or other device notifying guards an unauthorized person had gained access to it.

“Our client’s life has been forever changed by this brutal crime, which happened during business hours at work where she felt safe,” attorney Lorraine Donnelly of Kline & Specter told Bisnow in an email.

“But for the negligent security of the landlord and their security guard, this brutal attack would not have occurred,” she added. “We hope that landlords in our city and elsewhere will realize the importance of having reasonable security to protect their tenants and employees, including from criminal acts of intruders. Our client will have a lifetime of healing from the scars of this avoidable tragedy.”

Attorneys for the landlord contended in a filing that damages were solely due to the actions of the convicted attacker.

“No act or omission of answering defendants was a proximate cause, or cause in fact of any alleged loss, injuries or damages allegedly incurred by plaintiff,” they wrote, according to

One of the defendants' attorneys, Robert Sanzo of Litchfield Cavo, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case would've likely gone to trial by October had the settlement not taken place, court documents show.