A California woman was sentenced to five years in prison for a bizarre and elaborate scheme to frame her husband’s ex-fiancée for trying to have her raped.
Angela Maria Diaz, 32, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to multiple felony and misdemeanor charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment, forgery and falsely reporting a crime, according to a statement released by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
For months, Diaz made it appear that her husband’s ex-fiancée, Michelle Suzanne Hadley, 30, had been harassing and stalking her, as well as recruiting men to go to Diaz’s home and rape her by posting “rape fantasy” ads on Craigslist.
Diaz married her husband, an agent with the U.S. Marshals Service, in February 2016. Prior to that — from August 2013 to August 2015 — her husband had a romantic relationship with Hadley.
Hadley, of Ontario, was arrested twice before investigators discovered Diaz’s scheme. At one point, Hadley was jailed for three months on a slew of charges and faced life in prison.
Through their investigation, California authorities discovered that the violent emails and Craigslist ads were not from Hadley, but from Diaz, who was impersonating Hadley online. (Hadley has since been officially exonerated.)
Prosecutors say Diaz also claimed to have cervical cancer, pretended to be an attorney, forged doctor’s notes and faked a pregnancy. She even told police Hadley was sending emails threatening to kill her and her unborn child, according to the statement. She was arrested and charged in January.
“If not for the hard work of law enforcement continuing to investigate and seek the truth in this case, Ms. Hadley could have continued to face life in prison. It is unfathomable why Ms. Diaz would concoct such a diabolical scheme to hurt an innocent person,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in the statement.
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“Even while pleading guilty, Diaz showed no remorse, compassion, or empathy for the victim,” Rackauckas said. “We hope the resolution of this case brings some closure to Ms. Hadley so she can move forward in her life.”
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Prior to Diaz’s entering her plea Tuesday, Hadley’s attorney read a victim impact statement saying that Diaz’s “vicious, monstrous acts” left Hadley with nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In February, Hadley told Dennis Murphy, of Dateline, “I’ll carry this around for the rest of my life.”
Diaz’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.