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Match.com rape victim sues dating website

May 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Attorneys for a local woman who is suing Match.com after an alleged rape were in court Monday.

Carole Markin, 53, wants the dating website to stop accepting new members until a sexual predator screening system is installed.

Markin revealed her identity on ABC's Good Morning America last month. Markin says she was raped by 67-year-old Alan Paul Wurtzel, a man she met on Match.com. She says on their second date, Wurtzel came back to her home and attacked her.

Markin says after the assault she searched for Wurtzel on Google and discovered that he had been convicted of several counts of sexual battery.

Wurtzel has been charged and is awaiting trial. However, Wurtzel's attorney contends that a rape never took place, and that the sex between Markin and Wurtzel was consensual.

Officials at Match.com said the company would begin cross-referencing members against the National Sex Offender Registry, but the process could take months to implement. The dating website also said that members need to take measures to protect themselves.

In court Monday, Judge Stephen Wilson called no witnesses before issuing a decision. He said that Markin has no standing in federal court and that the remedy should be pursued in state court.

The attorney for Match.com believes they will prevail there too and has already been investigating additional safeguards independent of the lawsuit.

Attorneys for Markin said that the issue of sex offender screening has never been presented to court. They believe this is an opportunity to obtain a federal guideline by which to measure sex offender screenings in online dating services.

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