A deputy with the U.S. Marshals lured men to engage in “rape fantasy” roleplay with his then-wife in an elaborate ruse to frame his ex-fiancée.
In 2015, Ian R. Diaz (a U.S. Marshal deputy) began the drama. With Michelle Hadley, his fiancee, and Marshal deputy, he purchased an Anaheim condo. Hadley paid the down payment and the couple obtained a mortgage loan for over $450,000 to cover the remainder. The couple split up shortly afterward and Hadley left Diaz to continue living in the condo.
They continued to quarrel about finances even after Diaz married Angela Connell a year later. According to reports, Ian Diaz and Angela Diaz devised an elaborate plan to perpetrate sexual assaults on Angela and then blame Hadley. According to reports, the Diazes created email accounts and contacted Craigslist men to lure them to their homes under the pretense that they were engaging in a “rape fantasy.” The play-acting Rapists thought this was consensual.
According to the LA Times, one of the “men” involved in the scheme was only 17 years old at that time. However, police were able to catch the juvenile and have him arrested before he made any contact with Angela Diaz.
Despite planning the scheme themselves, the Diazes would then report the “rape fantasy” to police as an actual assault and claim that Hadley had orchestrated it, court documents claimed, adding that Ian Diaz simply wanted “to ruin his ex-girlfriend’s life.”
“At what point does the girl [Hadley] get charged for sending this s*** to Craigslist and hiring men from Craigslist to rape her [Angela]?” Ian Diaz was reported to have asked the police for help in June 2016.
They also claimed Hadley had sent Angela messages repeatedly threatening to kill her unborn child, even though Angela wasn’t pregnant at that time.
Hadley was taken into custody by the Diazes because of the accusations. She was held in detention for 88 days while the investigation into the threatening and assault messages and assaults took place. Hadley was released from prison after officials found that Angela Diaz had indeed sent the messages, but they made it appear as though Hadley had. In January 2017, Hadley was completely exonerated.
Hadley later described the experience of being detained, arrested, and exonerated as “like your worst nightmare becoming a reality.”
Since then, the Diazes have divorced and both Ian Diaz and Angela were charged with conspiring to kill Hadley. Although investigators initially believed that Ian Diaz (now 44) was not involved, they later discovered that he conspired to execute the scheme with Angela. He was convicted of federal conspiracy for cyberstalking, perjury, and obstruction of a federal case and could spend up to 20 years behind bars.
Angela Diaz was described by Richard Zimmer, Deputy District Attorney, as “a serial con man.” Federal charges were not brought against her. However, she was convicted on several state charges and sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Hadley filed a lawsuit in 2020 against the Anaheim PD, the Diazes, and the city of Anaheim. Hadley settled the case with the city in 2021 for an unspecified amount. Police are not sure how many fake sexual assaults Diazes reported.