The woman who was falsely accused of stalking, harassing and nearly arranging the rape of her ex-fiancé’s wife—when the threats were, according to law enforcement, really concocted by the ex-fiancé’s wife—is suing the couple as well as the city of Anaheim.
The city being named in the litigation is not a surprise because Michelle Hadley had previously filed a claim against Anaheim, usually the first step in a lawsuit. In the complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court, Hadley alleges the Anaheim Police Department bungled the original investigation that led to her being wrongfully jailed for 88 days.
U.S. Marshal Ian Diaz and his now former wife Angela Diaz are alleged in the complaint of making false accusations that led to Hadley's false imprisionment. The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
While conceding that Hadley had been wrongfully arrested, charged and jailed, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas on Jan. 9 announced perjury, kidnapping and false imprisonment counts against Angela Diaz. A conviction could send her to state prison for 12 years and eight months—plus up to 11 years in county jail. She has pleaded not guilty.
After Hadley and Ian Diaz met online in August 2013, they went on to have a serious relationship and become engaged. They bought an Anaheim condominium, but parted ways in August 2015 and Hadley moved out. She now resides in Ontario.
In January 2016, Diaz met the future Angela Diaz on the same dating website where he had met Hadley. They married at the end of February 2016 and Diaz moved into the condo. In mid-May 2016, Diaz claimed she was pregnant with twins.
On June 1, 2016, Diaz went to the Anaheim Police Department and falsely reported harassing messages, claiming they were from Hadley. Diaz, who is now accused of having actually sent herself the emails to make it appear Hadley wrote and sent them, obtained a restraining order against Hadley by signing under penalty of perjury that Hadley had threatened her.
On many occasions from that day through July 13, 2016, Diaz made false reports to get Anaheim cops to come to the condo with claims that Hadley threatened the lives of her and her unborn children. "Diaz is accused of adding links to graphic images and photographs of dead human beings, decapitated bodies and aborted fetuses," noted Rackauckas, whose investigation found the wife routed threatening emails to herself through about eight different accounts using Virtual Private Networks and third-party proxy servers to avoid detection of her Internet Protocol address by law enforcement.
In June 2016, Diaz posed as Hadley to respond to online advertisements from men who wanted to help women fulfill "rape fantasies," sent photos of herself (Diaz) to those who replied and informed them that she wanted to have forcible sexual intercourse even if she screamed or resisted, according to the OCDA. After Diaz told Anaheim police that Hadley was stalking her and falsely claiming she was involved in these online ads, at least two men who came to Diaz's residence to participate in rape fantasies were intercepted by law enforcement.
On June 24, 2016, Diaz allegedly called 9-1-1 to report that a man entered her garage and attempted to rape her before she was able to call for help and chase the man away, bolstering the credibility of her rape fantasy claims. "She is accused of crying and meeting the police with her shirt ripped and with visible redness to her neck and breast area," Rackauckas previously said.
Later that same day, Hadley was arrested by Anaheim police and after making her $100,000 bail she was released the next morning. "It should be noted that pursuant to Marsy's Law, Diaz was notified by law enforcement when Ms. Hadley was taken into custody and when she bailed out," Rackauckas said. "Diaz is accused of claiming that while Ms. Hadley was in custody, the threatening emails and rape fantasy solicitations stopped and that after Ms. Hadley bailed out, the threats and solicitations began again almost immediately. Diaz is accused of sending emails containing language that made them appear to have been written by Ms. Hadley."
From June 25 to July 13, 2016, Diaz's reporting to Anaheim cops continued. She claimed that in some emails, Hadley requested Diaz contact her. "These email requests included Ms. Hadley's parents' phone number as well as an email address that Ms. Hadley had told police was, in fact, her email address, including emails that appeared to have originated from Ms. Hadley's verified email address," Rackauckas said.
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On July 13, 2016, Diaz called 9-1-1 and officers arrived at the condo to find a 17-year-old boy outside who admitted to responding to the rape fantasy solicitation, believing the advertisement was real. The following day, Hadley was re-arrested. "Due to the seriousness of the threats, the alleged attack on Diaz in her garage, the escalation in both the frequency and nature of the threats, and yet another man arriving at Diaz's residence to engage in a rape fantasy encounter, law enforcement believed a serious threat to public safety existed," Rackauckas explained. "Based on the fact that the available evidence pointed only to Ms. Hadley, an arrest warrant was issued and charges were filed against her."
That same day, Hadley was charged in Orange County Superior Court with felony stalking with a restraining order, stalking, criminal threats, attempted rape, assault with the intent to commit rape during a residential burglary, violating a protective order, and a crime-bail-crime enhancement. Held on $1 million bail, she faced a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
At the January press conference, Rackauckas said it would have been impossible for Hadley to send the last batch of emails, something that was discovered as prosecutors and Anaheim police, pressed by Hadley's attorney Michael Guisti, continued investigating the true source of the emails. That probe resulted in Hadley being released from custody on Oct. 7, 2016, and all the charges against her were dismissed.
"I wanted to make sure ... that Ms. Hadley is cleared in every possible way—in the courtroom and in the court of public opinion," Rackauckas said at the press conference. "It should be clear in the media and in cyberspace. Ms. Hadley is an innocent victim of a diabolical scheme."