Attorneys Seek to Prevent Match.com From Taking New Members

Attorneys for a woman who says she was raped by a man she met on Match.com will ask a federal judge Monday to compel the Internet dating site to stop accepting new members until a sexual-predator screening system is installed.

Lawyers for television/film producer Carole Markin, 53, of Hollywood filed a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in Los Angeles Superior Court last month to speed Match.com's promised implementation of sexual predator screening. Match.com then had the hearing moved to federal court in Los Angeles.

Markin's attorney, Mark L. Webb, says he has subpoenaed his client and her alleged assailant, Alan Paul Wurtzel, as well as Match.com president Mandy Ginsberg to testify at today's hearing before U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson.

"The issue of sex offender screening has never before been presented to a court," Webb said. "Because Match.com moved this case to federal court, we now have the extraordinary opportunity of obtaining a federal guideline by which to measure sex offender screening in online dating services."

Officials at Match.com said the company would begin cross-referencing members against the National Sex Offender Registry, a process which Webb contends could take months to implement.

Markin says she met 67-year-old Wurtzel on Match.com in 2010, and that, after they went out twice, he raped her in her apartment.

Afterward, the woman 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, says that Wurtzel and Markin had a "consensual encounter."

Markin, who was initially identified in court papers as "Jane Doe," said she went public with a series of media appearances last month because, "I want to prevent something like this happening to another woman."
 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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