Match.com Ordered to Prove it Screens for Sex Offenders

A LA Superior Court Judge said he wants proof that Match.com is living up to its screening promises.

A Los Angeles judge Friday ordered an attorney for the dating website Match.com to return to court next week with proof that the site has implemented procedures to screen members to determine if any are convicted sex offenders.

The Internet dating site was sued in April by Carole Markin, who said she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on Match.com last year. She later found out the man had prior sexual battery convictions.

The man, Alan Paul Wurtzel, 67, pleaded no contest Wednesday to sexual assault.

Markin sued to compel the website to implement some type of screening procedure, such as checking prospective members against a national sex offender registry.

Match.com officials subsequently announced that they would screen new members. In court today, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carl West said he wanted to see proof that the screening was in place.

``It's a very serious claim,'' West said. ``If Match.com has adopted policies that are good for public, then everybody wins.''

He said if the company provides proof of an operable system being used, the lawsuit would likely be settled. Markin's attorney, Mark Webb, agreed.

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Match.com attorney Joseph Laska said the screening system is in place and he would bring the required proof to court Tuesday.

Wurtzel is facing 365 days in jail, five years of probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender when he is sentenced Sept. 19 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson, according to Deputy District Attorney Jane Creighton.

A second count -- forcible oral copulation -- is expected to be dismissed after he is sentenced on the charge of sexual battery by restraint.

Wurtzel and the woman went out twice in 2010 and he sexually assaulted her after following her into her residence and holding her down after their second date, according to the District Attorney's Office.

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