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

April 18, 2011 |  7:32 am

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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-- Shelby Grad

 

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