Sex dating service
Most victims, almost all women, met their male attackers through Tinder, Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, or Match. In 10% of the incidents, dating platforms matched their users with someone who had been accused or convicted of sexual assault at least once, the analysis found.Only a fraction of these cases involved a registered sex offender.Acknowledging the limitations, the spokesperson said, “There are definitely registered sex offenders on our free products.” CJI analyzed more than 150 incidents of sexual assault involving dating apps, culled from a decade of news reports, civil lawsuits, and criminal records.Most incidents occurred in the past five years and during the app users’ first in-person meeting, in parking lots, apartments, and dorm rooms.Even Pennsylvania registered sex offender Seth Mull, whose 17-year history of sex crimes convictions began as a teen, used Match Group’s dating sites; in 2017, Plenty of Fish didn’t flag his eight-year registry status before matching him with a woman who later accused him of rape.
Customers who sign its service agreement promise they haven’t committed “a felony or indictable offense (or crime of similar severity), a sex crime, or any crime involving violence,” and aren’t “required to register as a sex offender with any state, federal or local sex offender registry.” Plenty of Fish doesn’t attempt to verify whether its users tell the truth, according to the company. They chatted online and eventually arranged a date. But months after their Plenty of Fish match, Deveau became the second woman to report to police that Papamechail raped her after they had met through a dating app.
In a 2012 agreement on best industry practices between the attorney general’s office and the dating site, among others, the company again agreed to “identify sexual predators” and examine sex offender registries.
It pledged to go further and respond to users’ rape complaints with an additional safety tool: “a rapid abuse reporting system.”Today, Match Group checks the information of its paid subscribers on Match against state sex offender lists.
For nearly a decade, its flagship website, Match, has issued statements and signed agreements promising to protect users from sexual predators.
The site has a policy of screening customers against government sex offender registries.