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SoCal woman blames dating website for rape

April 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A lot of people dream about finding that perfect someone. To make that a reality, an increasing number are turning to online dating and no site is more popular for that than Match.com

A Southern California woman said the man she met through the website attacked her. She is blaming Match.com for the way it screens its members, after she learned about her alleged attacker's criminal history.

"I was looking to find someone to go out with and have a serious relationship with," said the woman who wishes to remain anonymous. She said she met a man on Match.com who intrigued her.

She decided to meet him in person at Urth Cafe in West Hollywood. The date went so well, he called an hour later and invited her to sushi later in the week. But after the meal, there was a problem

"I wasn't planning on having him up," she said. "He parked illegally, followed me up. He walked into my house, went into the bathroom. He just jumped me. There was no way to stop it without getting hurt, I was afraid for myself."

She said he raped her, and after he left, she went online.

"I Googled his name," she said. "I flipped out, I was even more scared."

She never knew his last name before that second date. On Google she discovered that Alan Wurtzel has a criminal history. The city attorney said in the past he used Craigslist to lure women to his apartment, and pled no contest to six counts of sexual battery.

Now he's awaiting trial on felony counts of oral copulation and sexual battery by restraint for the Match.com woman's case, a case that Wurtzel's attorney said is bogus.

"What actually went on is consensual sexual encounter between two consenting adults who went on a second date and went back up to her apartment," said Defense Attorney Sharon Morris.

But could the date have been avoided altogether? The woman said yes and Match.com should screen for sexual predators.

Her attorneys wrote Match.com a letter asking the site to start screening members. And if they don't, they plan on suing the site and filing a temporary restraining order.

"It wouldn't be hard to cross reference their credit cards with the police and keep people off of it," she said.

Match.com said,

"While incidents like this one between individuals who meet on Match.com are extremely rare, it doesn't make them any less horrifying."

They ask their members to check out the safety tips on their website. Also on their site is a note telling each individual member that they are solely responsible for screening other members, not Match.com

"I know they have that release but I still think they could do something," she said. "They already are the leaders in the business. If they do this, they would be the ultimate dating site."