Home > News > Ohio Man Sues Over Minor’s Access to SexSearch • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Ohio Man Sues Over Minor’s Access to SexSearch

Ohio Man Sues Over Minor’s Access to SexSearch
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift revolutionize adult entertainment?
Yes
  53.72%
No
  46.28%
Out of 121 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.
Apr 4, 2007 4:42 PM PST    Text size: 
LAKEWOOD, Ohio — SexSearch.com has found itself on the legal defense after an Ohio man filed suit claiming the social networking company allowed him to chat online with a minor, later having sex with her.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio, alleges that SexSearch, as well as its executives and partners, committed fraud, violated Ohio consumer laws and markets children to adults for sexual purposes, among other accusations.

Plaintiff’s counsel Dean Boland told XBIZ that the suit, which has 21 defendants represented by seven different law firms, could shake up the social networking industry, particularly companies that market specifically to adults.

“The whole industry is going to be rocked,” said Boland, referring to the online adult business. “There is no substantial age-verification system on any of these [social networking] sites.”

The man, whose name or age was not revealed in the complaint, said he was tricked into believing that the minor was in fact over the age 18 because she posted information that stated such and that SexSearch represented to him that it verifies the age of all members who use their site.

More than a month after having consensual intercourse with the minor at her home, the man was arrested and charged with a variety of charges of unlawful conduct with a minor, the complaint said. His criminal trial, where he could face up to 15 years in prison, has not yet commenced.

The 14-year-old minor, whose profile was active on SexSearch until it was removed by her parents, included her photo on the site, as well as listings that said she was looking for a “1 on 1 sexual encounter” and that her ideal match included her interest in a male “who can last for a long time.”

The suit’s long list of defendants include some well-known adult industry brand names in addition to SexSearch, including Playboy, Jenna Jameson, Club Jenna, Moniker Online Services, Manic Media and Stallion.com.

Also listed as defendants are SexSearch executives Ed Kunkel, Damian Cross and Adam Small, as well as SexSearch hosting company ExperiencedInternet.com.

Counsel for some of the defendants say, however, that the case is frivolous and without merit.

“My clients vigorously deny these claims and expect to prevail in court over these bogus charges,” attorney Michael D. Dortch told XBIZ.

Dortch, a Columbus, Ohio, attorney who represents seven of the defendants, including Kunkel and Small, would not further comment on the matter.

Los Angeles-based attorney Gary J. Kaufman, who represents hosting company ExperiencedInternet.com, told XBIZ that he too believes the complaint is unworthy.

“It’s clearly the case of a creative attorney who is trying to deflect blame from a client who faces a lot of years in jail,” Kaufman said. “We’re trying to bring this to a speedy conclusion.”

Boland, who represents the John Doe plaintiff, however disputes that the case is frivolous and that SexSearch had a duty to filter out participation with minors.

“When a person signs up for SexSearch, they are promised that they are dealing with an all-adult community,” Boland said. “There is a promise that everyone is 18. This is not eHarmony.

“Credit cards are not suitable to verify age,” said Boland, who is a noted child-porn defense attorney and digital images expert in Ohio.

The SexSearch complaint said that the minor, who is named as a Jane Roe in the filing, was allowed to access much of the site’s services, including a fetish room.

It also attempts to tie the company’s marketing efforts to individuals who want to gain access to teens. The complaint said the defendants operate sites such as Devirginized.com, FreenTender.com, YoungnTender.com, Orgasm.com, FreeTeenSlits.com and RawNudeTeens.com, among others.

Hollywood, Calif.-based SexSearch, on its website, claims more than 10 million members advertises it delivers “real people, real sex” on a geo-targeted basis.

The site has three levels of membership and charges up to $29.95 per month. Depending on the level, members can create profiles, upload pictures and video content, as well as access advanced search options and view online adult content.

The plaintiff has asked for unspecified and punitive damages in the suit, which was filed last month.

His attorney, Boland, also is asking for triple damages under the state’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and is seeking a restraining order to enjoin SexSearch from accepting Ohio members, as well as attorney fees.

Boland, who requested a jury in the federal case, said that the defendants may have a tough time getting a victory, particularly in Ohio.

“No jury of average intelligence in the Midwest will decide in their favor,” Boland said.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

EDUCATIONAL FEATURES

Retail: Fifty Shades of Anticipation

Retailers are in a unique position of having both the marketing support of major manufacturers and the ability to develop custom promotions specifically for their own customers. The upcoming Fifty Shades... More »

Dispatch From the U.K.: Deciphering the Jargon of New Regs

There has been a lot of confusion in the media recently concerning the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 which pass into U.K. law on Dec. 1. This has been widely publicized as ushering in tighter... More »

Intimate Fitness: Understanding pH

We are hearing more frequently about pH in product advertising and in nutrition discussions these days, but many of us don’t understand the importance or the meaning behind “pH balanced.”... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The European Summit

Mar 07 - Mar 11
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The Phoenix Forum

Mar 25 - Mar 29
Tempe, Arizona

International Lingerie Show

Mar 30 - Apr 01
Las Vegas, Nevada

Bizpowa.com's Feel Like Home

Apr 11 - Apr 11
Paris, France
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!