Popular Online Dating Site Settles Lawsuit by Pledging to Background Check Members for Sex Offenders

Match.com has settled a lawsuit with a woman who sued the popular online dating site after she was raped by a fellow member she was linked up with for a date by pledging to perform background checks on all current and future members in order to screen out sex offenders, the Los Angeles Times reports. The woman’s assailant – who had at least six previous sexual assault convictions before the attack on her – has pleaded no contest to sexual battery and faces a year in jail and five years’ probation.

The Times reports that the rape victim’s lawsuit demanded that Match.com background check members against state and federal sex-offender registries in the hope that other online dating sites would follow Match.com’s example. The woman’s attorney predicted a “domino effect” among other online dating sites to follow Match.com’s background check policy, and online dating sites eHarmony and Zoosk have confirmed that they would background check members to enhance security, according to The Times.

As previously reported in the ESR News blog “Woman Sues Popular Online Dating Website over Alleged Sexual Assault and Asks for Background Screening of Members,” the woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on Match.com and filed a lawsuit asking the service to start background screening members for sexual offenders since her assailant had a history of sex crimes. The woman had met her assailant in 2010 and after a second date he followed her home and assaulted her. After the incident, she learned her assailant had been previously convicted of several counts of sexual battery.

ESR News also reported that consumers should be aware that certain types of background screening do not produce reliable results, according to Attorney Lester Rosen, President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a background check company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®).

“Cheap background checks based upon databases are subject to both false negatives and false positives and have substantial issues in terms of timeliness, completeness, and accuracy,” explains Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ a comprehensive guide to employment screening background checks. “In fact, these database searches could actually make consumers more vulnerable by creating a false sense of security in them.”

Rosen suggests if online dating sites want to protect members in online dating situations, they need to do a proper background screening, one which can include county court level searches carried out by a professional background check firm or private investigator. For more information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is one of a select few firms accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/08/matchcom-sex-offenders.html