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Woman suing Match.com over alleged sexual assault speaks out about incident

MATCH A Los Angeles woman who this week filed suit against Match.com, saying she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on the dating site, is speaking out about the incident.

Attorney Mark L. Webb, who represents the woman identified in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe, said he will ask a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge for a temporary injunction barring the site from signing up more members until his client's demands are met. He said his client wants the site to screen  members to determine if they are sexual predators.

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

In an interview with KABC-TV Channel 7, the woman said her relationship with the man started innocently enough: "He sent me an email and said he was into golf and tennis and he had a house in the Palisades over Malibu and he liked art and culture, travel and food."

Webb described his client as an Ivy League graduate who works in film and television. He said she met her alleged assailant last year at Urth Cafe in West Hollywood. He seemed charming and she agreed to see him again, he said.

But after the second date, the woman said, the alleged assault occurred: "He went straight into the bathroom when he came in my place and I sat down on the couch and waited for him," she told the TV station. "Then he came out of the bathroom and jumped me and forced me to have oral sex and then he left."

"This horrific ordeal completely blindsided me because I had considered myself savvy about online dating safety," the woman said in a statement released through her attorney last week. "Things quickly turned into a nightmare, beyond my control."

After the man left, the woman went online and learned that he had been convicted of several counts of sexual battery. Charges are pending in the Match.com case, Webb said.

The attorney said his client wants Match.com to check members' names against public sex offender registries. "It's not a guarantee," he said. "But don't you think something is better than nothing?"

Officials with Match.com could not be reached for comment late Wednesday. But in a statement to KABC-TV last week, officials that they provide safety tips on the website and warn members that they are responsible for screening the people they meet.

"While incidents like this one between individuals who meet on Match.com are extremely rare, it doesn't make them any less horrifying," the statement said.

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-- Alexandra Zavis and Shelby Grad

Photo credit: Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (60)

Wow...she considers herself savvy about online dating safety....that may be...but you took a guy back to your place on the 2nd date....you must think you are a wonderful judge of character or something.

If you met this guy in a bar would you be suing the bar?

How can Match.com be held responsible for the behavior of a predator? If you meet someone in a bar and they turn out to be a rapist, would you hold the bar liable? Owners of locations where people have social interactions cannot be held accountable for how those interactions develop once the people have left the premise.

she must have gotten his name at the first date, so the information was equally available to her as it was to match.com. she invited him home after the second date, presumably not so they could practice a four-handed piano sonata.

in 2005, i met a nice lady on match.com who is one of my best friends to this day. we dated for a year, and when she broke up with me, she gave me her cat, because she wanted to be freer to travel. still got the cat, can i sue match.com for five years worth of fancy feasts and vet bills? sometimes i think i was set up.

Is this lady serious? She's suing match.com for an allegation they had no control over? What does she want match.com to do? Send armed guards as chaperones every time their users go on dates? It's unfortunate something like that happened to her, but she's pointing fingers at the wrong party. It's her own fault she wasn't cautious because, at the end of the day, online dating is pretty much going on a blind date with a stranger.

Sexually assaulted then jumped on the computer for a background check? Hmmmm fishy. Temporary injunction on the website? NEVER going to happen. LOL.

She should have went online and checked him out BEFORE going on any dates with the guy!

There is no such things as "personal responsibility" anymore????People can and do say anything they want on these dating sites - if she was able to find out about his criminal record after the fact, she could have also discovered it before - who invites a stranger into their home anyway - 2nd date and he's inside her house alone with her - never ever would I do that.

as someone who is an attractive female with a top education and an activist for female rights, I have to say this is the first case in my life where I don't side with the woman at all (in terms of attacking match.com for this - obviously the guy should be castrated). I have done a lot of internet dating over the past 10 years with various sites, and it is incredibly stupid to invite someone into your apartment alone on the 2nd meeting! Match.com even warns users about safety issues like this! How an ivy league grad could do this and call herself savvy with online dating is beyond me. That's rule #1 with online dating - meet in public the first few dates until you feel you know the person! Not Match.com's fault.

I feel bad that this woman was assaulted, but she used bad judgement. Why would you let a man you met come over your house on the 2nd date?

I don't see how match.com is responsible. They can screen people with prior criminal history, but if they don't have prior history what really can be done. It's like if you meet someone on the street, you don't know them, you just know what they want to tell you. It's your responsibility to make a judgement call.

I have done interneting dating and just like any dating, you have to be careful. There are people who are attacked even after multiple dates. I have been in situations where I didn't feel comfortable, so I left. I always meet people in a public place, don't let them know where I live or work, and listen to what they say. Listen to that gut feeling.

I feel for her, as it is a terrible thing to happen.
However, if you respond to an ad in the newspaper to purchase something, and something happens to you, do you sue the newspaper?
She should have checked out the person herself.
The individual needs to take responsibility!

I wouldn't trust meeting some wacko on the internet, and expect to live happily ever after with em.

It's always someone elses fault. No. This woman chose to allow the guy in her appartment on the 2nd date. Her choice. Has nothing to do with Match.com.

Guess what lady, the US Government has already given you the means and websites to do these checks all by yourself. It's public information. Case dismissed.

I'm sorry, but this woman should know better than to invite someone she met online into her home after 1 date. Why did it take until after the assault for her to do a background check on him? We make choices and we need to be responsible for them. Don't get me wrong, the guy needs to be castrated. I just think this lawsuit is absurd.

No one who is "savvy" about Internet or any other type of dating and takes a complete stranger to their own home on the second date.

Dating sites should screen for sexual predators but that is only effective if the person got caught at some point.

I feel sorry for what happened to the lady, but all this boils down to is common sense. No matter where you meet people, either via Match.com or craigslist or at your local bar, you will still need to be careful. I don't think it's the responsibility of Match.com to screen people. It's kind of like meeting someone at a bar, and before you go out on a date with them, you run a background check, or performing a background check on everyone you meet no matter where you're at.

This is ridiculous. This incident could have just as easily occurred had the woman met this man at a bar. What would she do then? Sue the bar owner to bar predators? I think not. Some people need to start taking responsibility for their own actions and lives and stop blaming everyone else.

what happened to not having a complete stranger in your home the second time you meet him?

This woman lacks accountability. This is her entire fault. She is the cause of her own attack because she should've screen this idiot herself, and there are man sites that allow one to do this for free or for under $30. She lashes out, blaming others for her own stupidity. She lacks personal accountability, and expects a company to "protect" her. How silly! We ALL most place safety as a personal policy. If you love yourself, your life and want to prevent assault, then it is up to YOU! She must be a liberal!

It is the woman's fault for placing herself into a dangerous situation. Match.com did nothing wrong.

While I feel sympathy for this woman, I'm still failing to understand how this is Match.com's fault? If she was so easily able to research him after the assault, perhaps she could have done so prior to meeting him in the first place. Clearly the information about him was readily available online. I feel for her and the way she was violated, but I think she also needs to take ownership and responsibility for her lack of due diligence beforehand.

Sorry this happen to her but you don't invite a stranger to your house after one date.

My question was this guy registered as a sexual predator?

I think match should offer a voluntary option that gives a person a seal or something. But this shouldn't be forced because one woman made a bad choice.

Ridiculous lawsuit.

How is it Match.com's responsibility to screen dates? And, is it Match.com's duty to pay out just because they are a big successful company?

I usually take the side of the consumer, but this seems to be a case of lack of personal responsibilty chased by an attempt to score a payout.

Good luck with that case.

 
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