Sexually Assaulted Hollywood Entertainment Executive Demands Change to Match.com Policies

Match.com is being called upon by a victim who was sexually assaulted to begin protecting their subscribers from known sexual predators. Yesterday, a demand letter from California attorney Mark L. Webb, Esq. was issued to Match.com’s legal counsel Marshall Dye and holding company IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) chairman Barry Diller. Mr. Webb has been retained by a successful entertainment executive, who wishes to be named as Jane Doe at this time, while she assertively calls for change to Match.com’s policies. Jane Doe claims she was brutally forced into oral copulation by another Match.com member who had been convicted six separate times for sexual battery.

MEDIA GIANTS/HMR – West Hollywood, CA (April 7, 2011) *** Match.com is being called upon by a victim who was sexually assaulted to begin protecting their subscribers from known sexual predators. On April 5, 2011, a demand letter from California attorney Mark L. Webb, Esq. was issued to Match.com’s legal counsel Marshall Dye and holding company IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) chairman Barry Diller. Mr. Webb has been retained by a successful entertainment executive, who wishes to be named as Jane Doe at this time, while she assertively calls for change to Match.com’s policies. Jane Doe claims she was brutally forced into oral copulation by another Match.com member who had been convicted six separate times for sexual battery.

Jane Doe, an Ivy League graduate, currently working in television and film, met Alan Paul Wurtzel, another Match.com member, on Match.com in 2010. According to Jane Doe, they set up a date, after which, Mr. Wurtzel viciously sexually assaulted her. Felony charges against Mr. Wurtzel are currently pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court [Case # BA373188]. Basic screening would have revealed Mr. Wurztel’s prior history, banned him from Match.com and prevented this attack.

“This ordeal completely blindsided me because I had considered myself savvy about online dating safety,” states Jane Doe. “It started with what seemed like a pleasant date at Urth Café in West Hollywood. Things quickly turned into a nightmare, beyond my control. Match.com must begin to take some responsibility in protecting paying subscribers. I do not want this to happen to anyone else.”

Mr. Wurtzel was not a garden variety Match.com member. He was a serial sexual predator, as cursory examination of public records would have disclosed.  His record in Los Angeles County, California at Central Arraignment Court (Case Number LAA5CR02442-01) alone indicates six separate convictions for sexual battery in the period preceding his attack on Jane Doe.

“Match.com should not permit its website to be used to facilitate meetings between innocent members of the public and convicted sexual predators who are easily discoverable, as was Mr. Wurtzel” states Mr. Webb. “We ask that Match.com voluntarily institute a basic screening process that disqualifies from membership anyone who has a documented history of sexual assault. This history could be rapidly uncovered through simple, inexpensive technological means, roughly estimated at less than five dollars a subscriber.”

The position of Mr. Webb and his client Jane Doe could lead to legal action, including a temporary restraining order requesting no further members be signed-up with Match.com, until sexual predator screening is installed. The letter issued may be followed by preliminary injunction.

MySpace and Facebook agreed in 2008 to institute more stringent security standards. In 2009, MySpace, in response to a subpoena by the Attorneys General of Connecticut and North Carolina, provided names of 90,000 registered sex offenders. According to the Safer Online Dating Alliance [saferonlinedating.org], Russell Research conducted a national survey of registered voters, which determined that there is significant support for criminal background screening legislation for online dating at a national level. Specifically, 77% of registered voters would support urgent passing of state legislation that makes it a requirement for online dating sites to prescreen members against criminal databases. Moreover, 83% of female registered voters would support the same legislation.

Mr. Webb adds “While I totally support attempts for legislative change the judicial route is more direct and potentially faster. When women’s safety is at risk I believe the faster route should be pursued.

SOURCE: The Law Offices of Mark L. Webb

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES CONTACT: Jim Strzalkowski of Media Giants, jim@mediagiantsusa.com , (310) 652-2283; or Heath Hamaguchi of HMR, hthamaguchi@gmail.com , (213) 926-1183.

Tags:

Subscribe