Online Dating Safety Urged Following Assault

Apr 22, 2011, 05:53 by David Hope

Online dating safety is being urged in the wake of a case of sexual assault that all began with meeting on a popular internet dating web site.

A California woman has sued the online dating service, saying a man she met through the service sexually assaulted her.

Attorney Mark L. Webb, who represents the Los Angeles entertainment executive called "Jane Doe" in the suit, told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday he would ask a County Superior Court judge for a temporary injunction prohibiting from signing up more members until his client's demands are met.

Doe wants to conduct background checks on its clients and screen its members for sexual predators. The Web site said that is the responsibility of its clients.

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

The woman said she met the man at a restaurant and that he appeared to be a gentleman. But after a second date, he allegedly followed her home and forced himself on her.

Doe went online after the attack and found her date allegedly had been convicted of several counts of sexual battery.

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

The Times said it was unable to get a comment from the Web site late Wednesday, but in a statement to a television station last week officials said they provide safety tips to clients on its Web site and that members are responsible for screening the people they meet.

Source: UPI