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Match.com sex-offender screenings tied to L.A. woman's lawsuit

MATCHAn L.A. woman's suit claiming she was attacked by a man she met on Match.com played a role in the company's decision to begin crossing-checking users against sex-offender databases.

The woman, whom her attorney, Mark L. Webb, described as an Ivy League graduate who works in film and television, met her alleged assailant last year via the website. He seemed charming at first, she said, but on their second date he allegedly forced her to have sex with him.

Webb told The Times last week that his client later checked and saw that the man had been convicted of sexual battery.

Match.com released a statement to the Associated Press on Sunday night announcing the policy change. The statement said Match.com in the past had not screened users against a national sex-offender database over fears that such checks would be flawed and could give a false sense of security. Officials said they remain concerned about how accurate the checks would be.

A Match.com spokesman told AP that the changes had been planned for some time but that the lawsuit accelerated the process.

Webb, who represents the woman identified in the lawsuit only as "Jane Doe," told The Times last week that he would ask a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge for a temporary injunction barring the site from signing up more members until a screening process was implemented to determine if they were sexual predators.

"They are a very powerful and successful online dating service, and they have the means to do this," Webb said.

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Comments () | Archives (13)

Didn't I heard Match.com loudly protest that 'it wasn't their job' just last week? I guess they thought better of that. After all, if you get paid for being a matchmaker and you don't screen your clients, you're just not very good at your business, are you?

Sad what society has come to. Computers to meet someone? Whatever happened to set-ups or meeting someone in line at Starbucks? So, I guess people never met before the internet.

" as an Ivy League graduate who works in film and television" - and who has problems with figuring out if a guy is a lemon...why the heck would you trust anyone who you just met online?! Background check or not.

So what's next?? --suing the BAR you meet someone at?? --just yet another move in our victim-laden society (i.e. "MY problems are YOUR fault")

Hope they'll be screening BOTH sexes.

Most people that use an on-line dating service are socially inept (at best) or sociopathic/ psychopathic (at worst) - hence, the need to hide behind an internet account. I have a very busy and stressful professional life (more than the vast majority of people), and I manage to be efficient in dating activities without resorting to the internet. It can be done - through mutual acquaintances, organizations, church, or university alumni associations (all of which serve as defacto screeners).

People need to start taking repsonsibility for themselves. And we need to start putting these shyster "personal injury" lawyers in jail. Once she narrowed the list down the guy she was going to date why didn't SHE perform HER due diligence and check the guy out?! Who's with me on a class action suit against her and her attorney for increasing the cost of living by their baseless lawsuit?

I'm thinking that a lonely sex offender is more dangerous to society than one who has a significant other. Shoot, society already has enough rules and laws that keep these people unemployed and homeless. So now we are taking away their right to form healthy relationships?? Know who you are dealing with, but for god's sake let the ones who are trying to change live their lives do just that.

I'm sorry, does the prize-winning Times have some aversion to accuracy in language? This "reporter" writes: "...but on their second date he allegedly forced her to have sex with him."

Is there some reason you can't use the word "rape"? If someone is accused of a crime it's not "forced her to have sex with him," it's RAPE. By using deceptively roundabout language to describe a pretty clear criminal allegation the Times is consciously choosing to minimize what happened. Funnily, I don't see the Times tip-toeing around other crimes, e.g. "He forced him to die by propelling metal projectiles in his general direction..." What's the matter, Times, you can say someone is alleged to have committed homicide, but rape is too cloudy for you? Or too icky? Or maybe you think if someone carjacks a guy driving an expensive car that constitutes a crime, but a man "forcing a woman to have sex," why that's just a big old gray area for you?

Grow up, and treat a crime as a crime. Prizes don't mean anything when you don't do your job every single time.

Whatever happened to self accountability?

@Common Sense....

Did you actually interview such Internet dating applicants to arrive at the generalization you did? What happened in this instance with this lady is purely an exception. And even though the majority of the applicants may fail to connect with someone, there are a fair number of successful matches I've been aware of(such as my brother who met a woman and they later married).

Women set themselves up for rape by a complete stranger when they get into these groups. Match.com cannot do a complete and accurate screening of everyone who gets on their site. People will lie and sometimes their lies cannot be verified by anyone. Why would a woman or a man for that matter connect with someone online? They are complete strangers that they know very little to nothing about. I would think if a person were that desperate to find a man or a woman they could do it in another way that would keep them safe. No one deserves to be raped by anyone but when they go to meet a complete stranger. Make sure you always know what your doing.If you can get references and check them out yourself before you go with them.

So, Stevie, you think if I carry money around I deserve to get robbed, because I had the option not to carry money? Or if I drive a nice car I have no one but myself to blame if I get carjacked, because self-accountability means I should take a bus or drive a junker?

Women can't elect to leave body parts at home and they have the absolute right to go anywhere they please, eat and drink whatever they want, wear whatever they like, and not be RAPED. The self-accountability is on the man not to rape, buddy. You sound just like any fundamentalist Taliban-type who beats a woman in Saudi Arabia for showing an ankle, or charges a woman who is raped with adultery -- illogical, misogynistic and hateful. You would be right at home in the crowd in Afghanistan that recently whipped a fourteen year-old girl to death for adultery after a male neighbor raped her. He got away, by the way...

And Janice, I'm sorry, but what century are you living in? Because it's not this one or even much of the last one. People can meet any way they want to, and many, MANY successful relationships have begun online. Does it behoove a smart woman to protect herself as much as possible? Of course, just as it behooves everyone to do so. But rape is a crime, perpetrated by criminals, and no one blames the victims of muggings, home invasions, ATM stickups, even though, using your logic, no one should ever use an ATM because everyone knows that's where the money is. No one should ever buy a nice house in a good neighborhood, because home invaders will know they're rich.

Stop blaming the victim, stop assuming you know anything about her, stop thinking there's any excuse for rape. Ask yourself why you would EVER even let it enter your mind to be an apologist for a rapist. Rapists rape eighty-year old women, two year-olds, retarded women and girls...did they "ask for it" too?

And women, PLEASE stop being such Uncle Toms. Stand up for your gender and BE a woman, not a knee-jerk woman-basher. God knows there are already plenty of those, and when you find yourself siding with the rapist something is seriously out of whack in your self-concept and self-identification as a woman.

I was burned several times online dating. I then got smart and found my wife. I found some good info here http://www.noscamlist.com/safe-online-dating-tips.htm


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