ANAHEIM, Calif. – A California woman exonerated of charges that she responded to online "rape fantasy" ads to get men to attack her ex-boyfriend's new wife is suing the city of Anaheim, claiming police failed to thoroughly investigate her case.
Michelle Hadley spent 88 days in jail before all charges against her were dropped. Investigators eventually said it was the new wife who was trying to frame Hadley. That woman, Angela Diaz, has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Hadley's lawsuit filed last week names the city of Anaheim as well as Diaz and her husband at the time, Ian Diaz, who was once engaged to Hadley.
Though Hadley was cleared, the nearly three months she spent in jail and the subsequent media attention significantly impacted her life, said her attorney, Michael Guisti.
"Being in jail has taken a lot away from her," he told the Riverside Press-Enterprise on Tuesday .
Hadley says she was falsely imprisoned as a result of the couple's accusations and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
"We believe our detectives properly followed the evidence in this unusual case," said Lauren Gold, a city of Anaheim spokeswoman. Gold declined to comment on the specifics of the suit.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has said that authorities had good cause to arrest and charge Hadley, now 30, in part for safety concerns because of the supposed continuing threats to Diaz.
The man that links the two women is Ian Diaz, an agent with the U.S. Marshals Service, who dated Hadley before marrying Angela Diaz. Prosecutors said they have no evidence he was involved.
The bizarre events began in June 2016, when Angela Diaz reported to Anaheim police that men had been arriving at her home to engage in a "rape fantasy" encounter, prosecutors said.
The men were intercepted by police. The men told police that they thought they were going to engage in a consensual act.
Prosecutors said Angela 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 faked the pregnancy, prosecutors allege.
The case fell apart as authorities learned all the threats and solicitations had allegedly come from Diaz herself.