Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Woman Who Allegedly Planned Rape Attack On Ex's Wife Was Framed, Say Officials

Angela Diaz. (Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Strap yourself in for this one, because it’s going to be a roller coaster. In July, we reported that Michelle Suzanne Hadley, 29, had been charged with felony stalking, attempted forcible rape, violating a protective order and assault. She was allegedly embroiled in a nefarious and dangerous scheme; she’d supposedly posed as 31-year-old Angela Maria Diaz on Craigslist, and had invited men to come to Diaz’s place and act out a “rape fantasy.” Hadley had allegedly told the men to proceed even if she resisted their advances, and had even gone as far as providing details about the routines and whereabouts of Diaz. Diaz was married to an ex of Hadley's.

Now, in a wild turnaround, the Orange County District Attorney’s office says that Hadley has been cleared of all charges, and that prosecutors believe that Diaz had been framing her this whole time.

“As important as the filing of charges against Ms. Diaz, is the dismissal of the previous complaint and full exoneration of Michelle Hadley,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a release. “Ms. Hadley is an innocent victim of a diabolical scheme,” he added.

Where to start?

Support for LAist comes from

Well, Diaz was indeed married to Hadley’s ex, who is identified only as “John Doe” in documents. Hadley had been dating Doe from August 2013 to August 2015, when the pair broke up. Doe then began courting Diaz in January 2016, and the two were married by the end of February, according to the D.A.’s office. And sometime in mid-May, Diaz informed Doe that she was pregnant.


Michelle Hadley. (Photo courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office)
But wait, she wasn’t pregnant. And, apparently, this fabrication was only one of the many lies that Diaz had weaved. When all is said and done, both the D.A.’s office and the Anaheim Police Department believe that Diaz had faked having cervical cancer, pretended to be an attorney, forged doctor’s notes, and impersonated two of Doe’s ex-girlfriends via email.One of those ex-girlfriends was Hadley. The D.A.’s office says that Diaz had gone to the police in June to complain of threatening emails that were supposedly sent by Hadley, when, allegedly, Diaz had been posing as Hadley the whole time, sending the messages to herself as evidence. Diaz was so convincing, in fact, that she was able to obtain a restraining order against Hadley.

Posing as Hadley, Diaz was also allegedly the one who’d been directing men on Craigslist to attack Diaz. What makes this even crazier is that the scheme had worked to some degree; at least two men had confronted Diaz with intentions of going through with the “rape fantasy,” and all of them were detained by law enforcement, according to KTLA. So, if the allegations are true, Diaz had actually put her safety on the line to get Hadley in trouble.

And her plans were going swimmingly, apparently, because Hadley would be arrested twice as Diaz kept filing reports to the Anaheim Police Department, saying that Hadley was stalking her and sending her vile messages. Hadley was arrested on June 24 and July 14. And she would remain in custody until October 7, when “sufficient evidence had been ascertained through extensive investigative efforts” to clear her name. The Orange County District Attorney's Office says that, by tracing the origins of the emails and Craigslist postings, authorities had uncovered connections back to Diaz’s cell phone, as well the condo she shared with Doe, and her father’s home in Arizona.

Diaz was later arrested on January 6 in the Phoenix area. The Phoenix Police Department tells LAist in a message that the arrest was made on the request of the Anaheim Police Department. Diaz has been charged with two felony counts of kidnapping, two felony counts of false imprisonment by menace, fraud, or deceit, one felony count of perjury, one felony count of grand theft, two felony counts of forgery, two felony counts of possession of a forged check over $950, one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime to a police agency, and 21 misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting a crime to a peace officer. She faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison if convicted.

Of course, the case isn’t closed until it has gone through the trial process. But, if a Powerpoint sent to media outlets by the Orange County District Attorney's Office is any indication, the D.A. seems to be pretty sure of Diaz's guilt:


Diaz behind bars, kind of. (Image courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office)