U.S. Judge Denies Freeze on SexSearch Assets

Rhett Pardon
TOLEDO, Ohio — A federal judge refused last weekend to freeze assets of SexSearch.com, which has found itself on the legal defense after a man filed suit over claims that he was allowed to chat online with a minor. The man later had sex with her and was charged with statutory rape.

Gary Jay Kaufman, a Los Angeles-based attorney who represents three of the defendants, said that freezing assets in the case would be “inappropriate and unnecessary."

"We believe this case is meritless,” he said in a statement. “A motion to dismiss is pending, and we are hopeful for a quick resolution in the near future."

Greg Piccionelli, who represents numerous adult entertainment companies, echoed Kaufman’s response.

"This case is absurd,” he said. “It is incredible that the plaintiff would try to shift responsibility to a website to do what the law requires he do for himself.”

The civil case, involving a John Doe plaintiff because his criminal trial has yet commenced, has gained speed in its two-month track. As of Thursday, there already were 130 filings.

The plaintiff contends Hollywood, Calif.-based SexSearch and its partners had a duty to filter out participation with minors.

He said he was tricked into believing that the minor was in fact over the age 18 because she posted information that stated so, and that SexSearch represented to him that it verifies the age of all members who use their site, the complaint said.

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.

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, Manic Media and Stallion.com.