A woman who claims she was raped by a man she met on the dating website Match.com has filed a lawsuitagainst the dating website. She is demanding that Match start screening for sexual predators.
Match.com said Sunday that it will begin screening its users against the national sex offender registry.
The move comes after an entertainment-industry executive who claimed she was raped by a man she met on the dating website filed a lawsuit against the site Wednesday. The woman's lawsuit demands that it increase screening for sexual predators, her attorney said.
Mandy Ginsberg, president of Match.com, told The Associated Press in a statement Sunday that the company had considered such screenings for years, but "their historical unreliability has always led us to conclude against it." Ginsberg said after talking to providers and advisers the last few days, company officials decided to make a change.
"We've been advised that a combination of improved technology and an improved database now enables a sufficient degree of accuracy to move forward with this initiative, despite its continued imperfection."
Attorney Mark L. Webb said last week that he and his client -- who wants to remain anonymous -- may ask a Los Angeles Superior Court judge for a restraining order preventing the website from accepting any new members until a sexual-predator screening system is installed.
Website officials said previously that the site includes safety tips and a disclaimer advising members that they are responsible for screening people they meet on the site.
"While incidents like this one between individuals who meet on Match.com are extremely rare, it doesn't make them any less horrifying," company officials said in a statement last week.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, is an Ivy League graduate who works in the television/film industry, according to Webb. She contends she met a man named Alan Paul Wurtzel on Match.com in 2010, and after they went out twice, he allegedly raped her in her apartment.
Afterward, the woman later checked up on Wurtzel, and found out he had previous sexual battery convictions, according to Webb.
Wurtzel has been charged and is awaiting trial. His attorney, Sharon Morris, told another news agency last week that Wurtzel and the woman had a "consensual encounter." She said the ``encounter'' was between ``two consenting adults who went on a second date and went back up to her apartment."
The alleged victim, however, called the attack a "horrific ordeal" that "completely blindsided me because I had considered myself savvy about online dating safety."
"It started with what seemed like a pleasant date at Urth Cafe in West Hollywood," she said. "Things quickly turned into a nightmare, beyond my control. Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers in online dating and realize that it can happen to them."