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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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Photo credit: Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (60)

She's Ivy League?

She should sue the internets and the googles.

I was contacted by a Gentleman from another dating sight. After several conversations I decided to Google his name, and yes, he was a Sex Offender!

BE CAREFUL

Can't disagree with any of these comments. I actually don't have a problem with family and friends arranging introductions. Or chaperones (group dates) being an option.
Online date searches are much less reliable than someone being well known from other social networks, like a work, worship or common interest circles .
It's literally up to a woman or parent to do the research, not the dating site. Which makes the online availability of the criminal records of predators all the more important. Indeed, perhaps advocating for such availability, rather than suing Match.com would be more important goal.
It's unfortunate that dating styles have become so disconnected, and standards so low that predators have even easier marks. Inviting him to her HOME on a second date, was a huge mistake. There was NO WAY know ANYONE well enough to do that.
But predators are very patient, and whether it was the second or fiftieth, it might not have mattered. What does, is having the means to check out someone for OURSELVES.

While it is sad that the woman was assaulted, it's also true that she should've exercised more caution. Match.com is not to blame for her lack of judgment. Common sense rules for meeting someone online for dating: ALWAYS meet in a public place. Tell people you know where you are going. Do NOT go to the date's home or let them in yours on the first date. Don't drink alcohol or use drugs. Always take your own transportation. Get your own drinks to avoid possibly getting them spiked when you're not looking. Always pay for your own meals, so the other person doesn't get the false idea that you "owe" them and they want the payment horizontally if you know what I mean. Sad that such precautions have to be take, but better safe than sorry, right? and all this go for men, too. There are plenty of female predators out there as well.

So, you would sue a friend who had set you up on a date and the same incident happened? I loves me a lawsuit.

I am surprised she is not represented by Gloria Allred.

I disagree with most of these comments and find it atrocious but typical that a bunch of men are blaming the woman for being sexually assaulted.

If you were using a service to find a nanny and the one you got had a record of pedophilia or had recent convictions for drug possession, wouldn't you blame the service for not doing a good job?

This is no different and the victim is just asking for the service to be more accountable.

Personally, I hope she sues Match.com and gets a huge 8 to 9 figure settlement for what she has been through. That will get match.com to make some changes.

She should sue Al Gore for inventing the internet...

First of all, EVERY woman should know better than to bring someone to their "home" without knowing them for a while. He could have been a burglar or something...oh well. A tough lesson here with on line dating.

At least, if anything, this will alert other women of the dangers, don't you agree?

I wonder how many other women have been taken advantage of, but did not come forward because of embarrassment of using the online dating service? I hope if there were others like this, that they come forward.

Sad that it happened. SOunded like the woman was a "not so savvy" older lady who doesn't understand that the internet should be trusted about the same as the newspaper. The same could be said about a lot of youth too though. They are often waaaay too trusting if they were brought up into a trusting, safe family environment. Without proper coaching, they think that EVERYONE in the world is just as nice as their own family.

These days, though, everyone is so mobile. You really don't know much about people, other than what they tell you, and it could all be a big lie.

Without investigating...you don't know the truth.

So WHO in their right mind would bring a person they don't know well to their home? Unless you live at the police station, it's not a good idea. I tell my nieces & nephews all the time that they've got to keep a safe distance from new people...especially people who you have no idea about. Especially when they go off to college. What do you know about these new kids' family, their upbringing, their friends. It could be anyone! (rapist, murderer, burgler, random creepy dude, someone after your money...you pick!)

I run a business out of my home and I never meet anyone there, never invite clients over, never use my home address or phone # on anything...and I've got 6 people living in my house--3 are adult males who can give you a whoopin' if you need it.

People just don't have a sense of self preservation anymore...or maybe it was blind trust...or maybe the hormones?

In any event, Match.Com is not liable and I hope it's proved out that way in the courts.

If your Aunt Edna introduced you to a "nice man" she met at church and he jumped you like this..would you sue your Aunt Edna?

I'm sure this has happened to other women who didn't come forward. You can pay for a background check yourself even if match.com doesn't do it.

Well, I don't intend to question the lady's judgement or anything. But let me use my own experience as an example. I've used match.com off and on for over 10 years. Now, you're thinking, "What a loser!". And maybe I am. I don't have the physical characteristics that most women would find desirable, so I'm actually okay with the results that I've gotten from match.com (which is pretty pathetic). But on those few dates I did get over 10 years, I would say that I sometimes did a few things that probably would be deemed unwise by others. And looking back. I chalked it up to being insecure, lonely, and desperate. That may be the case here. So let's not judge, lest ye be judged yourself. I don't actively belong to match.com anymore, they are a rip-off. I spent hundreds of dollars for memberships there and a lot of their profiles are actually phonies (I wish the authorities would investigate THAT!). And I'm content now with what and who I am, although I'll probably be alone the rest of my life. So I would advise the lady to get all the counseling she needs and look for happiness from within and if you do someday put yourself out there again, at least you'll know what to do and not do next time.

That woman fell for a criminal. I feel sorry for her and wish it never happened. But after the first date she did not get enough info about him. She could not even sense what he was all about. She should have never been online trying to find a man cause obviously she does not have good enough instincts for men. Im sure that this stuff was going on even before there was the internet. Some women just fall for the wrong guys. Men experience the same things when they fall for a gold digger that robs them of their money and violated. Blaming the internet is lame. Girls and guys meet each other for the first time at bars and clubs all the time and go home. What happened is nothing new, but suing the place where you met and trying to pass the responsibility off is.

She was impress with his fake profile and was probably trying to get on film or tv either way...please use common sense when dating in the matrix

I agree with most of the comments that match.com should not be held responsible for this reprehensible crime. If match.com's lawyers are reading these comments, they would be well advised to hold out for a jury trial, assuming the suit isn't thrown out like it should be.

What most people posting here seem to have missed is the distinction between "meeting someone at a bar" or "your aunt Edna introduced you to someone she met at church..." Do you sue the bar or auntie Edna? Obviously not.

But Aunt Edna is not holding itself forth as a business whose profit motive is giving the customer bona fide matches, that the company has checked out -- all for a high $$$ fee. Neither is the bar. The bar sells drinks that make everybody seem prettier, handsomer, more successful than they really are, until the alcohol wears off. The bar is not verifying that the other customers you meet are all elite educated, rich, single, upstanding, non-criminals, etc.

But: Match.com is verifying the goodness of the people it matches you with. You pay a lot for that guarantee. The Match.com profits. Unfair to profit by lying to customers who pay for the guaranteed good matches it produces for the fee.

Who invites a complete stranger back to their home so soon after meeting him you ask? Try millions of people across this great globe of ours since the dawn of man without incident. And just how long does a person remain a stranger exactly?

Stating that SHE was foolish is ridiculous. Surely you can surmise that a guy like that was going to do this to her whenever he eventually got her alone, be it date number two or date number five. She's just pointing out that maybe the guidelines for the website should be more stringent.

Quit with the disbelief that a woman took a guy home afer only the second date. Please. You people are being ridiculous.

Why would anyone sane pick guys over the internet. In the old days you met them at a bar and had enough time to gauge their intentions. To meet strangers based on the crap they write is just plain stupid.

Sue! Sue! Sue! It's the answer to all life's problems. SOMEONE has to pay!

Ummmm, maybe I missed it... 1st: She meets the man for a date...then on the 2nd date she invites the man to her personal home...the place where she lies her head EVERY DAY? I'm sorry.... that was DUMB. Should have met him at a public place completely opposite her normal abode/area..... ok, maybe I'm dumb for thinking this is what should have been done CONSIDERING today's sexual predators, down low men, ex-felons who may not be rehabilitated... yeah, maybe I'm the dumb one... NOT!!!

This is the type of frivolous lawsuit that gives lawyers a bad name. Too bad we don't have a loser pays civil system like other countries to discourage this type of abuse of the legal system. Some have commented that because match.com makes a profit, it should be providing a screening service as well. Match.com does not provide any type of warranty as to the quality of individuals who use this site. Match.com does provide a list of common sense safety suggestions. Match.com costs a lot less than much more expensive matchmaker services and some of these do extensive background checks. These services also utilize professional staff members who personally interview their members as well. Match.com is a do-it-yourself site. Members who sign up do so on the honor system. Match.com strongly discourages people who are married from using the site, but there is no verification process for this either. If either a member or the spouse of a member be allowed to sue match.com for not weeding out married people, should they have a grievance of how their lives were harmed by a married person using the site? I question the sincerity of this woman who claims to be savvy regarding online dating. Of course I feel sorry for her because she was assaulted, but I think she is embarrassed and just looking for someone to blame.

Her story is pretty hard to swallow. It really makes me want to gag when I read stuff like this.

 
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