Michelle Hadley was allegedly framed by the wife of her ex-boyfriend

By Jeff Truesdell
February 24, 2017 11:35 AM
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For three months last year, Michelle Hadley sat in a California jail, accused of the harassment and attempted rape of her ex-fiancé’s wife, Angela Diaz.

The specifics of the allegations were astounding: Hadley was accused of posing as Diaz on Craigslist and soliciting men to attack her via “rape fantasy” ads.

In January the already bizarre case took a turn: Authorities said it was Diaz herself — and not Hadley — who had devised the plot and allegedly filed a false rape claim in an effort to frame Hadley.

Hadley has since been officially exonerated. Diaz, who has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that include kidnapping, false imprisonment, perjury and forgery, is due in court for a pre-trial hearing on March 3.

Now, in her first TV interview airing Friday, Hadley tells Dateline NBC, “I appreciate the apologies. But the apologies don’t rebuild your life and the apologies don’t undue what’s been done.”

She tells correspondent Dennis Murphy, “I’ll carry this around for the rest of my life.”

Michelle Hadley
| Credit: Courtesy Dateline NBC

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In an exclusive clip from the program, Hadley recalls her time behind bars before she was released last October and later cleared of suspicion.

“Well, I stood out like a sore thumb,” she tells Murphy. “I almost didn’t eat for the first, you know, three or four days.”

When asked about the sounds of the jailhouse, Hadley replies, “Good luck sleeping in jail,” adding, “The door slamming. It’s very loud. And the women at night sometimes scream like banshees. So you’ll hear it echoing throughout the jail.”

Angela Diaz
| Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

‘Innocent Victim of a Diabolical Scheme’

Hadley, of Ontario, initially was arrested last June. At the time, prosecutors alleged she was behind a series of “electronic threats” sent in May and June to Diaz, also of Ontario, who recently had married Hadley’s ex-boyfrend, Ian Diaz, an agent with the U.S. Marshals Service.

On June 6, Angela Diaz and her husband won a court protective order that prohibited Hadley from contacting Angela Diaz.

Angela Diaz originally was identified only as Jane Doe in the documents that charged Hadley. The debunked accusations against Hadley detailed an escalating plot, and alleged that over a five-week period, Hadley continued to send “numerous emails including threats against the life of Jane Doe and her unborn child and disparaging comments about the victim’s husband,” according to a statement last July from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The most severe of the debunked allegations was that Hadley placed an ad on Craigslist pretending to be Diaz, soliciting men to engage in “rape fantasies.” According to the allegation, when people responded to the ads, Hadley impersonated Diaz by responding and telling them where to find Diaz.

Prosecutors said Diaz claimed at least three men showed up to her house, and one attacked her before she chased him away.

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None of the men were identified. But authorities eventually concluded that Diaz — who had initially falsely claimed to be pregnant — had devised the whole thing and routed the emails to disguise their source.

“Ms. Hadley is an innocent victim of a diabolical scheme,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said last month.

No evidence has linked Diaz’ husband to the case, prosecutors said.

In defending the original investigation targeting Hadley, Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt told Dateline NBC, “Our detective didn’t create the situation. Angela Diaz did. We did what we had to do as the circumstances came about and as the evidence presented itself, up to and including continuing to investigate and exonerate Michelle.”

The episode of Dateline NBC: Diabolical airs Friday (10 p.m. ET/PT).