A serving deputy US marshal from California has been accused of conspiring with his ex-wife to frame his former girlfriend as a potentially violent cyber-stalker.
Brea resident Ian R. Diaz was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Central District of California on charges of conspiracy to commit cyber-stalking, cyber-stalking, and perjury.
The 43-year-old is accused of plotting with his un-indicted former wife while they were still married to pose as a woman with whom he was previously in a relationship. In court documents this woman is unnamed and referred to simply as “Jane Doe.”
It is alleged that Diaz impersonated Jane Doe to harass both himself and his former wife through frightening electronic communications. The messages appear to show Jane Doe threatening to arrange a series of sexual assaults to be perpetrated against Diaz’s former wife.
In the messages, the sender writes that they will run personal advertisements on the website Craigslist to solicit a number of men. These men will then be tricked into sexually assaulting Diaz’s ex-wife by being told that they are carrying out “rape fantasies” with the woman’s consent.
Later messages made it appear as though one or more such sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults against Diaz’s former wife had occurred.
“Diaz and his then-wife then reported this conduct to local law enforcement, falsely claiming that Jane Doe posed a genuine and serious threat to Diaz and his then-wife, and thereby caused local law enforcement to arrest, charge, and ultimately detain Jane Doe in jail for nearly three months for conduct for which they framed her and in fact perpetrated themselves,” stated the Department of Justice.
As alleged in the indictment, Diaz and his former wife took steps to conceal their actions, including using falsely registered email accounts, masking their identities by using virtual private networks to access the internet anonymously, and communicating with each another using encrypted messaging services.
Diaz is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit cyber-stalking, one count of cyber-stalking, and one count of perjury for his false testimony in a deposition in connection with a federal civil lawsuit brought by Jane Doe. Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.