An aspiring model has filed a federal lawsuit in Miami suing the social networking site BlackPlanet.com for Florida personal injury. The plaintiff contends that she was drugged, sexually assaulted, and made into a porn star without her consent by men she met through the Web site. Also named as defendants in the Miami personal injury case are Emerson Callum and Lavont Flanders.
The two men are accused of pretending to be talent scouts to get her and eight other women to audition. The nine of them were given Xanax and alcohol before Callum allegedly raped them. Flanders is accused of shooting video the sexual assaults and selling the footage online as pornography.
The plaintiff, known as Jane Doe 11, says she doesn’t remember being raped and she didn’t even know the video existed until her agent found it. According to her Miami personal injury lawyer, the sex crime wouldn’t have happened if BlackPlanet hadn’t been negligent. Her legal team contends that the social networking site, should have known or knew that it had members who were sexual predators.
The victim is seeking $10 million in Miami injury damages from BlackPlanet, Radio One Inc, which is its corporate parent, Flanders, Callum, and three companies that produced and issued the video, which was produced for a series named “Miami’s Nastiest Nymphos.”
Flanders and Callum, who are charged with human trafficking, sexual battery, and conspiracy, face life sentences if convicted. Their lawyers say the women signed releases giving their consent to be in the porn movies.
Social Networking Sites and Personal Injury
Can social networking be held liable if they were used to commit a crime. A few months ago, Match.com settled a personal injury lawsuit filed by a woman who was also raped. The plaintiff, Carole Markin, sued the online dating site, which was where she met the man who raped her. She blames Match.com for failing to perform a security background check on members. Her assailant, Alan Paul Wurtzel, had several convictions for sexual assault. The 67-year-old has pleaded no contest to sexual battery.
Markin, who is an author and Hollywood screenwriter, didn’t ask Match.com for any financial compensation. Instead, the online dating site has agreed to conduct security checks on everyone who is a member or applies to join. The settlement came even though courts have so far ruled that networking sites aren’t liable for the physical or financial harm suffered by members.
Rape-porn case puts spotlight on social networking, Miami Herald, October 26, 2011
Match.com settles suit with pledge to screen out sex offenders, Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2011
More Blog Posts:
$550,000 Miami Injury Settlement Approved for Woman Who Was Kidnapped and Raped by Cop, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 14, 2011
Miami Nursing Negligence Lawsuit Accuses Home Care Nurse of Sexually Assaulting Paraplegic Patient, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2011
Mother Files Miami-Dade County Lawsuit Against Opa-Locka Police After Her Mentally Disabled Son’s Alleged Rape, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, May 31, 2011