Woman Sues Match.com Over Sex Assault

Lawsuit asks site to screen for sex offenders; not possible, says Match.com.

ByABC News
April 14, 2011, 6:31 PM

April 14, 2011 — -- Millions of people swear by online dating sites like Match.com, but a California entertainment executive claims the website is responsible for her sexual attack.

The woman, publically identified only as Jane Doe, is filing a civil lawsuit asking a court to force Match.com to install a sex offender screening program that scans a members' background when they sign up for the site. The lawsuit asks for a temporary restraining order that, if granted, would prevent new members from signing up for Match.com until such a program is instituted.

"When somebody uses their credit card to pay, they [would] basically run the card through a sexual offender database," said Jane Doe's attorney, Mark Webb.

However, an attorney for Match.com told reporters outside of Webb's news conference that setting up such a screening system is not possible.

Lawyer Describes Alleged Sex Assault

Webb described his client as an Ivy League graduate who works in film and television. She met a man on Match.com and, Webb said, "she had no reason to believe that he was a convicted sexual offender."

The lawsuit claims Jane Doe and the man went on a date that seemed to go well, but by the second date things turned violent. The lawsuit maintains the man went to Jane Doe's house after they had dinner and he forced her to perform a sexual act.

Separate criminal rape charges are pending in a Los Angeles court.

According to Webb, the suspect has a violent history involving sex assault cases that should have been caught by Match.com before he was allowed to post a profile on the site.

Match.com is a very successful website, Webb said, and should have the means to install a system that could verify that a user is not a sexual predator.

According to Match.com, it tells its members to check out safety tips on the site, that it is their sole responsibility for screening other members and that what happens on dates is not the responsibility of the company.

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