A photo of convicted child abuser and murderer Michael Rafferty was being used on the international dating website Plenty of Fish, but has since been removed after complaints against it were lodged.
The Toronto Sun reports on the misuse of the photo of Rafferty, who is currently serving a life sentence in jail. In 2009, Rafferty kidnapped, sexually abused and murdered then 8-year-old Victoria Stafford. Reports of the crime at the time featured a picture of him, which is the same picture that surfaced on Plenty of Fish.
The photo was since removed on Tuesday, August 28.
Rafferty allegedly used the site to look for women in the weeks prior to and after his crime. Using the moniker “scoobmike,” the profile said that he was “looking for a good friend” between the ages of 18 and 46 and that he wasn’t looking for a committed relationship.
The same image of Rafferty, a native of Woodstock, Ontario in Canada, on the website was used in news reports about the horrendous crime.
The Toronto Sun writes that an anonymous source said they had contacted Plenty of Fish, as well as the Woodstock and Saskatoon police regarding the criminal’s photo on the site. He then turned to QMI Agency, a media company in Canada, when the picture still hadn’t been removed.
Shannon Smith, a spokesperson for Plenty of Fish, said that they “diligently monitor our website internally and our users’ safety is our top priority.”
“Our users report any suspicious activity themselves, and each profile is exposed to thousands of users, so there is no place to hide and these type of profiles don’t stay up,” she said.
While Rafferty’s then-girlfriend and accomplice Terri-Lynn McClintic pled guilty to the charges, Rafferty denied them and did not plead guilty. At the trial held in London, Ontario, several women whom Rafferty had met online testified against him.