Friday, June 9, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Deputy US marshal convicted of framing ex-fiancée for attempted rape

Ian Diaz was convicted of using fake Craigslist ads for "rape fantasies" to make it seem as if his former fiancée was putting the life of his then-wife in danger.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — A deputy U.S. marshal was found guilty of plotting to frame his former fiancée for attempted rape of his wife.

Ian Diaz, 44, of Brea, California, was convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking, cyberstalking, perjury, and obstruction of a federal matter, according to a statement from the Justice Department. He faces as long as 20 years in prison.

Diaz and his then-wife created phony email and social media accounts in the name of Jane Doe, his former fiancée, and used these to send each other messages with graphic threats to rape and kill his then-wife. They also posted ads on Craigslist to lure men to enact "rape fantasies" with his then-wife, and when the men showed up at their condo, they called the police and claimed that Jane Doe was responsible and putting the life of his then-wife in danger.

As a result, Jane Doe was arrested and spent almost three months in prison.

“Ian Diaz abused his position as a deputy U.S. marshal to execute an intricate cyberstalking scheme that framed an innocent person for sexual assault, leading to her unjust imprisonment for 88 days,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite, Jr. said in a statement Friday. “As this prosecution demonstrates, the Criminal Division is committed to preserving the public’s confidence in law enforcement by holding accountable any official who violates their oath of office and victimizes the community they are sworn to serve.”

According to the government's trial brief, Diaz, who worked for the U.S. Marshal's Service in LA, and Doe were engaged and living together but their relationship fell apart over Diaz's efforts to pressure Doe into having sex with other men as part of his "cuckolding" fantasy.

After their breakup in 2015, Diaz and Doe were in a dispute over the condo in Anaheim, California, they had bought together and where Diaz was still living. Diaz, the government said, was also troubled about Doe's becoming more and more public about her allegations that he had raped and abused her during their relationship.

In 2016, he married another woman and they initiated a complex cyberstalking scheme to frame Doe for criminal conduct that they perpetrated against themselves.

They first tried to get Doe arrested for the threatening messages they had sent themselves using fake accounts that looked like they belonged to Doe. When that didn't work, they escalated their efforts and started using the fake Doe accounts to respond to the Craigslist ads from men seeking women for rape fantasies and other casual sex encounters. They provided their own address in these responses and included photos of Diaz's then-wife.

And when men showed up at their condo as a result of their responses to the men's ads, they'd call the police.

On one occasion, Anaheim police officers arrived at the condo, with a police helicopter hovering above, and found Diaz outside the front door with his USMS badge around his neck and his unholstered firearm in his hand, the government said. Once the officers were on scene, Diaz blamed Jane Doe for responding to the Craigslist rape fantasy ads and sending the men to the condo.

Finally, Diaz and his then-wife started posting their own Craigslist ads and used the bogus email accounts to communicate with men on Craigslist and to lure them to their condo. When they did, they'd call the police to report the incidents, while forwarding multiple fake emails to Anaheim police and detectives. In the end, their efforts led to Jane Doe being arrested and eventually held in jail pending prosecution.

An attorney for Diaz didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment on his conviction.

Categories:Criminal, Government, Law, Regional

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.