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Former U.S. Marshal convicted in twisted "rape fantasy" plot

A deputy U.S. marshal was convicted on Friday in a twisted "rape fantasy" plot that sent his ex-fiancee to jail for 88 days after she was falsely accused of sending threatening emails and sending men to rape his new wife, said the Department of Justice.

Ian R. Diaz, 44, of Brea, California, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking, cyberstalking, perjury, and obstruction of a federal matter, according to the Department of Justice in a news release. 

Diaz and his new wife plotted to frame his former fiancee Michelle Hadley for stalking his new wife because he was "so hell-bent on punishing her after their relationship dissolved," according to a 2018 civil lawsuit. Hadley and Diaz were involved in a dispute over an Anaheim condo near Disneyland they purchased in June 2015. Hadley provided the down payment of f $14,401.20 and the two obtained a mortgage in the amount of $459,745.00, said court records. 

After the couple broke up, Hadley moved out while Diaz stayed behind in the condo. In January 2016, Ian met and married Angela Connell through a dating site, court records state. Hadley and Diaz continued to fight over the condo finances because she was still responsible for part of the mortgage payments although she wasn't living there, according to court records.

The bizarre plot to frame Hadley started in May 2016, when Angela Diaz reported to Anaheim police that men had been arriving at her home to engage in a "rape fantasy" encounter, prosecutors said. She told police that Hadley had sent threatening emails. The couple filed restraining orders against Hadley in a "tortious campaign to ruin his ex-girlfriend's life," according to court records.

Anaheim police arrested Hadley and she spent 88 days in jail before all charges against her were dropped. Hadley was fully exonerated on Jan. 9, 2017, by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. On the same day, the office charged Angela Diaz with orchestrating the plot. She was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty. Ian and Angela Diaz have since divorced.

Diaz, who was indicted in 2021, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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