Less than a week after a California woman filed a suit against Match.com because she was sexually assaulted by a man she met online, the dating site announced that it will begin screening all of its users against the national sex-offender registry.
Match.com President Mandy Ginsberg told the Associate Press Sunday that the company chose not to have a screening process for years because of the unreliability of the database. However, after reviewing recent "improved technology," the company has decided to begin the checks with current and new members.
Match.com spokesman Matthew Traub said the site had been considering screening its users, and the change "did not come in direct response to the lawsuit, but the timing of the decision was accelerated by the attention the suit brought," the AP reported. Despite the added screenings, Ginsberg advises users to be on alert, since the checks remain "highly flawed."
The California woman suing the site — identified as Jane Doe — says that she went on a date with a man she met through Match.com, and it initially went well. It wasn't until the second date that things became violent. The suspect followed Doe home after the date and raped her. According to Doe's attorney Mark Webb, the alleged attacker has a history that includes several sex-assault cases.
Jane Doe is not seeking any money from the site but instead is asking a court for a temporary restraining order that would prevent new users from signing up to Match.com until a sex-offender screening system is implemented. She believes that her assault could have been prevented had her attacker been screened.
According to Match.com, the responsibility of screening members falls on users, and the company is not liable for what happens on dates. The company obviously has no control over what happens on a date, but a criminal-background check is well within the company's control and means.
It’s about time someone filed a lawsuit with some merit. We commend Jane Doe's noble cause.
Read more at ABC News.
In other news: Lashonda Armstrong: More Moms Kill Kids Under Age 5 Than Dads.