Adult Website Users Who are Lied to by Underage Minors Have No Recourse, Says Federal Court
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A Federal court has ruled that an adult user of an adults-only website (in this case SexSearch.com) has no recourse against the site after having been tricked by an underaged user into believing that she was an adult when they had sex.

The case against SexSearch.com by “John Doe” was brought after Doe learned the hard way that the woman with whom he was having sex was not 18, as she had claimed, but only 14. And by “the hard way” we mean when he was arrested for statutory rape.


Facing as much as 15 years in prison, and having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Doe sued SexSearch.com. As a paying member, he said, he had agreed to their terms and conditions – which require all members to be 18 or older – and had relied on them reviewing, verifying, and approving all profiles.

In both the current appeals case, and the case on which it was founded, SexSearch.com relied on the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in their defense. The CDA has previously been held to provide immunity to Internet services for unmoderated comments and profiles published by their users.

Here, however, SexSearch.com at least impliedly was approving (and so in a sense moderating) their user profiles.

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Interestingly, the appeals Court held against Doe not because they necessarily agreed that SexSearch.com was covered in this instance by the CDA, but rather because Doe had failed to properly plead that SexSearch.com had approved the profile. So it’s open to question as to whether if, properly pleaded, the case may have gone differently.

Regardless, the moral of this story – at least for right now – is that if you are going to have sex with someone you’ve met online, you need to do just like you would if you’d met them offline – make sure that they are of age before their clothes are off.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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2 thoughts on “Adult Website Users Who are Lied to by Underage Minors Have No Recourse, Says Federal Court
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  1. Minors who lie about their age to illegally have sex need to be prosecuted. It is a form of rape (by fraud). And the State has an obligation to protect innocent adult victims from sexually abusive minors.

  2. Despite this ahem…unfortunate incident…SexSearch really works. Been on it for 2 months and have gotten laid several times. They even have a bikini girl on site 24/7 to help sign you up!

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