Online dating services connecticut
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Had Chaney's alleged victim — or the online dating company that made their connection possible — obtained a criminal background check, it would have shown that he has a history of domestic violence and multiple felony convictions, records show.With a few exceptions, online dating companies do not conduct background checks on users or verify their identities.
A new state law called the Internet Dating Safety Act took effect in August and requires online dating websites to disclose whether they conduct background checks on members.Companies that violate the law face possible fines of up to ,000. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, who sponsored the legislation, said he originally wanted to make background checks compulsory.The law's disclosure requirement was a compromise with the industry."It's buyer beware," Silverstein said."People go to these Internet dating services and maybe assume they do background checks."A high-profile lawsuit that a California woman filed against Match.com, claiming that the company paired her with a registered sex offender, spurred the California attorney general to press for more screening. Pete Inda, an investigator on an alleged sexual assault involving an online dating customer, says there's no way to know who you're dealing with on the Web.“It could be a 15-year-old kid; it could be a cop posing as a 15-year-old kid. (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune)Derrick Chaney may have come across as a catch on the dating website he used — successful, connected and smooth-talking.
But when the 31-year-old Iowa woman Chaney courted online traveled to Illinois for their first date, he quickly turned from eligible bachelor to sexual predator, police said.After weeks of Internet chats and phone conversations, the two met in January at an Aurora motel, where Chaney sexually assaulted the woman and held her prisoner, according to authorities.Chaney, 37, of Aurora, was charged with sexual assault, unlawful restraint and kidnapping in a case that police and prosecutors say underscores the potential dangers of online encounters.As the number of people looking for love on the Internet continues to balloon, so do concerns about such risks.According to law enforcement officials, there's no way to know what percentage of sexual assaults is linked to online dating.But in providing access to millions of people, these Internet services offer a widening universe in which those intent on violence can prowl, experts say.