CRIME
'diabolical scheme'

Woman arrested in sex fantasy hoax was really the victim

A Southern California woman has been exonerated of charges that she responded to "rape fantasy" ads on Craigslist in order to get men to attack her ex-boyfriend's new wife, prosecutors said Wednesday. They now say that it was the new wife who was trying to frame her husband's ex.

The Associated Press reports charges were dropped against Michelle Susan Hadley, 30, of Ontario, who was "the innocent victim of a diabolical scheme" that also included phony death threats, Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas announced.

Prosecutors instead have turned the case on its head and charged Angela Marie Diaz, 31, with kidnapping, false imprisonment and perjury. Diaz, who is originally from Arizona and had moved back there, was arrested in Phoenix on Friday and is awaiting extradition.

Michelle Susan Hadley hugs DA Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder after being cleared of all charges. (Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register)

The man that links the two women is Ian Diaz, an agent with the U.S. Marshals Service, who dated Hadley in Anaheim, California from 2013 to 2015 before marrying Diaz, according to court records. Prosecutors said they have no evidence he was involved.

The bizarre events began in June, when Diaz reported to Anaheim police that men had been arriving at her home to engage in a "rape fantasy" encounter, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said men were intercepted by police and told them they thought they were going to engage in a consensual act.

The officials said Diaz also called 911 and falsely reported that a man attempted to rape her in her garage, and she appeared with her shirt ripped and her neck red.

At the same time, Diaz told police Hadley had been threatening to have her raped, and had also sent threats that included graphic photos saying she would kill her and her unborn child. Diaz had faked the pregnancy, prosecutors allege.

The false evidence led to Hadley's arrest.

But the case fell apart as authorities learned all the threats and solicitations had allegedly come from Diaz herself. Diaz used her phone, the condo she shared with her husband, and her father's home in Arizona to make the calls and emails, prosecutors said.

Hadley was released in October and was officially exonerated Monday.

"Obviously, this has been a huge nightmare for me, probably the most traumatic experience of my life," Hadley told reporters outside court. "I'm glad it's finally over, and I can move on."

Diaz is also accused of faking cervical cancer, forging doctor's notes, and posing as an attorney, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have not identified a motive.

Ian Diaz and Hadley are involved in a dispute over a condo they bought when they were dating, the Orange County Register reported.

Deputies reached by phone could not say whether Angela Diaz had hired a lawyer who might be reached for comment, and a phone listing for Ian Diaz could not be found.

all of the swears

Hot takes from the Steelers-Patriots mess

Look, we know you probably don't want to relive it. We sure as hell don't. But we were on Twitter checking on AB's status, so we figured we'd compile some of the best takes.

Keep reading ... Show less
Ho Ho No

Criminal Claus gets himself stuck in chimney, forced to call 911

Guess he didn't really think it through.

Keep reading ... Show less
ENTERTAINMENT
Let's see now ...

First thoughts after seeing 'The Last Jedi' (Spoilers here!)

Wow, what a ride!

Keep reading ... Show less
SPORTS
watch yourself

Don't be that guy who buys fake Steelers-Patriots tickets

You could be out in the cold if you try to buy tickets for Sunday's game between the Steelers and New England Patriots at Heinz Field from a scalper.

Keep reading ... Show less
HOLIDAY
see the sights

10 places off the beaten path to take in Christmas in Pittsburgh

You probably know of the iconic places to take in the holidays in Pittsburgh — the ice rink at PPG Place, the windows at the former Macy's, the creche at the U.S. Steel Tower.

But how about taking a day and checking out some of the other sights?

Keep reading ... Show less
SPORTS
Far out!

May the Force be with the Steelers and this 'Star Wars'-themed team poster

So, did your favorite Steeler make the team's "Star Wars"-themed team poster?

Keep reading ... Show less
SPORTS
500 Days (of sellout hockey)

Longest home sellout streaks in sports

On the last Hockey Night In Pittsburgh that wasn't a sellout, America had the following: George W. Bush was President; Beyonce's Irreplaceable was the No. 1 song on Billboard's Hot 100 chart; gas costs averaged $2.24 per gallon; Mike Tomlin had been head coach of the Steelers for all of two weeks, and Apple was finalizing a television advertisement to introduce the iPhone.

Keep reading ... Show less
HOLIDAY
Holly jolly

Who does the best version of the top Christmas songs?

Christmas songs are like Christmas cookies: There's so many, we get them once a year, and everyone has an opinion on who does it best.

Keep reading ... Show less