What You Should Know About Omegle Sex Abuse Claims - SteinLaw

What You Should Know About Omegle Sex Abuse Claims

Omegle Sex Abuse Claims Florida Lawyer

Recently, Omegle was in the news for something to do with pedophiles and sexual abusers. So you may be asking: What is Omegle? Why is it in the news? Is it something you should be worried about? What can you do if you or your child were sexually abused on or because of Omegle? The SteinLaw Omegle Lawsuit Lawyers are here to answer your questions! 

If you live in Florida and you or your child were exploited, groomed, abused, or otherwise violated on Omegle, contact SteinLaw Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation about your case.

What Is Omegle?

Omegle Sex Abuse ClaimsOmegle is a free website with the tagline, “Talk to Strangers,” that lets users aged 13 and over chat anonymously without registering or providing proof of age or identity. Users can choose to chat using text or video (which is the primary product) and they are randomly matched with another person – of any age. Even if nobody lies about their age, young teens can be matched with adults who have bad intentions.

Once the users are matched, they are immediately shown each other’s live videos. While the site has “monitored” and “unmonitored” sections, there is no mechanism to verify a person’s age before allowing them to enter the 18 and older unmonitored area, where nudity is allowed.

Why Is Omegle in the Headlines?

Due to the pandemic, Omegle became extremely popular among middle school-aged children, or even younger. In fact, Omegle nearly doubled its monthly visitors from 34 million visits a month in January 2020 to 65 million visits per month in January 2021.

Much of the increase was from children who were feeling isolated while getting their education at home looking for friends online through Omegle, hoping to meet people their age. Additionally, there is a popular TikTok trend where people share their Omegle video chats.

While the rules state that users must be at least 13, and only adults 18 and up are allowed to access the unmonitored section, the site does not require users to enter their age, and there are no systems in place preventing children from being matched with adults.

As a result, children can be linked to pedophiles, nude adults pleasuring themselves, or other people directly looking to harm children with little risk of consequences due to the site’s anonymity.

About the Oregon Omegle Lawsuit

Florida Omegle Lawsuit Lawyer

A lawsuit against Omegle has been filed in Oregon by A.M. and her lawyers, who claim Omegle paired her with a now-convicted Canadian pedophile, Ryan Scott Fordyce, in 2014 when she was 11 years old and Fordyce was in his 30s.

The lawsuit claims Fordyce started grooming the young girl immediately and convinced her to provide him with her contact information so they could keep in touch off the anonymous platform.

According to the lawsuit, Fordyce originally asked to see pictures of the girl’s “smile” before asking her for full-body nude photos as well as specific “poses, props, positions, and hairstyles.” He demanded A.M. to be “at his beck and call” “at all hours of the day and night,” or else he threatened to kidnap her or hurt her family.

For 3 years, Fordyce threatened to leak A.M.’s nude photos to her family if she did not do everything he requested, until members of a Canadian police force told her parents in January 2018 that he had been arrested for child pornography. Officers had found images of A.M. in Fordyce’s stash.

A.M. and her lawyers claim Omegle is responsible for her abuse since they had no mechanisms to prevent kids from matching with adults, and that she never would have been abused by Fordyce if the website had safety features in place to prevent her from being matched with him in the first place.

What Is Omegle Doing About Pedophiles and Predators?

Omegle has gained a reputation for being a place where sexual predators and sex traffickers find victims, yet Omegle’s founder, Leif K Brooks, rarely speaks about any claims of sex abuse on the website. Recently, however, he said the site is monitored, blocks users who “appear to be under 13,” and expanded monitoring efforts in 2020.

Marsha’s Law for Child Victims

Florida Sexual Abuse Lawyer for Child Victims

Marsha’s Law is a federal law that gives victims of child abuse the right to seek personal injury damages from anyone who produces, possesses, or distributes their child sex abuse images [18 U.S. Code § 2255]. The point of the law is to limit obstacles that may prevent victims from getting financial compensation.

With Marsha’s Law – among other laws – victims and their families can sue for financial compensation to pay for damages they suffered as a result of the abuse. To file a successful lawsuit, the victim’s lawyer must prove that the defendant committed child exploitation or child pornography and that it caused the victim to suffer personal injury. A criminal conviction can help, but Marsha’s law outlines ways for victims to still file a civil lawsuit without a conviction.

Here are a few crucial points in Marsha’s Law:

  • Victims can seek $150,000 in damages, even if the actual damage was less than that, as long as the tort is proven.
  • Victims can file a lawsuit up to 10 years after they turn 18 or reasonably discover the “injury” or “violation” that forms the basis of the claim.
  • Victims may also seek punitive damages and compensation for reasonable litigation costs.

Contact a Florida Omegle Lawsuit Lawyer Today

If you or your child were groomed, abused, exploited, or violated in any way on Omegle, contact SteinLaw Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation. SteinLaw has experienced Florida sexual abuse lawyers who may be able to help you get compensation for the abuse you or your child suffered due to spending time on Omegle.

SteinLaw has 7 locations across South Florida, with offices in Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, Tampa, Weston, and West Palm Beach. In addition to a free consultation, each client is given the direct phone number of their lawyer to achieve a level of reliability and comfort in the handling of your case.

Brandon Stein

Chief Executive Officer

Brandon Stein is a Florida based trial attorney born in Queens, New York, and was raised in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Being the son of an accountant that owns a large firm in New Jersey, owning and operating a business is something that was engrained within Brandon Stein from a very young age...[READ BIO]

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