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Crime News

Former Federal Agent Guilty Of Framing Ex In ‘Diabolical’ Online Cyberstalking Rape Scheme

“Ian Diaz abused his position as a deputy U.S. Marshal to execute an intricate cyberstalking scheme that framed an innocent person for sexual assault,” the Department of Justice said.

By Dorian Geiger
Michelle Hadley Nbc

A former deputy U.S. Marshal who solicited Craigslist users to rape his wife in a failed revenge plot to frame his ex-girlfriend was convicted last week.

Ian R. Diaz, 44, was found guilty by a federal jury on charges of cyberstalking, conspiracy to commit cyberstalking, and perjury.

Diaz was accused of conspiring with his now-former wife, Angela Diaz, to frame his former girlfriend Michelle Hadley using Craiglist. The couple, which posted “personal” ads posing as Hadley on the classifieds site, prosecutors said, lured men to their home in order to participate in a “rape fantasy” of Angela Diaz.

RELATED: U.S. Marshal Allegedly Framed Ex In ‘Rape Fantasy’ Revenge Cyberstalking Plot

The lurid plot unfolded in 2016, roughly a year after Diaz and Hadley had broken off their relationship.

Prosecutors said the pair staged “a non-consensual sexual assault on [Diaz], with the other party believing that the sexual encounter would be consensual,” according to the case’s indictment, previously obtained by Oxygen.com

“Ian Diaz abused his position as a deputy U.S. Marshal to execute an intricate cyberstalking scheme that framed an innocent person for sexual assault, leading to her unjust imprisonment for 88 days,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said, according to an NBC News report.

On June 24, 2016, Angela phoned authorities to report an attack. Hadley was arrested after Ian told authorities the California woman was a “serious threat to their safety,” per court records.

“[Hadley] needs to be in f------ cuffs and in a padded room,” Diaz told police officers, according to the case’s indictment.

“At what point does this girl get arrested for sending this s--- and hiring guys off Craigslist to rape [Angela],” he also told detectives, per court filings.

The disturbing scheme ultimately landed Hadley in jail for a total of 88 days on charges of felony attempted forcible rape and stalking. She had faced life behind bars had she been tried and found guilty. 

Hadley was released in January 2017 after law enforcement discovered multiple fake online accounts and email addresses Ian Diaz had created in Hadley’s name.

Detectives later found evidence that Ian and Angela also staged at least one or more “hoax” sexual assaults at the property they co-owned with Hadley. The formerly married couple is now divorced, according to reports.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters at the time that Hadley had been an “innocent victim of a diabolical scheme.”

Hadley has since applauded Ian’s conviction.

“I am so grateful to the [Justice Department Office of Inspector General] for the work they put into this case and to the jury for a conviction that has brought so much peace to my family and restored some of the faith we lost in the justice system as a result of Diaz’s crimes against me,” Hadley told NBC News in a statement.

According to NBC, the verdict was handed down the same day Hadley gave birth to a baby girl, her first child. 

“My life has been filled by strange, often symbolic, and sometimes beautiful coincidences like this,” she added. “My daughter represents my rainbow after a very long storm, and my heart has never felt so full.”

In 2018, Hadley sued the city of Anaheim and four city police officers for negligence in the case, accusing authorities of basing their decision to charge her on “clearly doctored” emails, NBC News reported. She was awarded a settlement for an undisclosed sum in 2021.

“At its heart, this is a case about the ‘blue wall of silence’ — law enforcement officers and officials enabling fellow officers to violate civilians’ rights,” the civil suit stated. 

“The Anaheim Police Department and its officers abdicated their duties to adhere to investigative norms, instead conspiring to do the bidding of a corrupt federal marshal. ... They appear to have willingly become Ian Diaz’s weapon in his tortious campaign to ruin the life of his ex-girlfriend, plaintiff Michelle Hadley.”

Diaz is set to be sentenced on June 30. He’s facing a maximum of 20 years in prison.