ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — A federal grand jury returned an indictment this week, charging a U.S. Marshal with perjury and cyberstalking a former girlfriend over the Anaheim condo they owned together.
Ian R. Diaz, 43, of Brea, and a deputy U.S. Marshal with the U.S. Marshals Service, posed as a former girlfriend in 2016 to send harassing and threatening messages and apparent threats against his former wife, solicited and lured men to engage in a “rape fantasy” via Craigslist’s personal ads and staged hoax sexual assaults and attempted assaults on his former wife, according to the indictment.READ MORE: Beach Erosion Suspends All Metrolink, Amtrak Service Between OC, San Diego
Diaz and his then-wife, an unindicted co-conspirator, then reported the harassment to local law enforcement, falsely claiming that the former girlfriend posed a genuine and serious threat to him and his wife, the indictment alleges. Diaz and his former wife allegedly took steps to conceal their conduct by using falsely registered email accounts, using virtual private networks to access the internet anonymously, and communicating via encrypted messaging services.
The indictment alleges Diaz “referenced the fact that he investigates threats made to federal judges and prosecutors as part of his work as a Deputy United States Marshal and that he has ‘never seen anything like this.’”
The former girlfriend, identified by federal prosecutors only as Jane Doe, was arrested, charged, and held in jail for nearly three months as a result. She has since filed a federal civil lawsuit against the city of Anaheim over her arrest.READ MORE: LA County Announces Re-Homing Program To Help Keep Pets Out Of Shelters
Diaz and Jane Doe had dated in 2015 and bought an Anaheim condo together in June of that year, with Jane Doe providing the down payment, according to the indictment. But when they broke up two months later, she moved out of the property, and Diaz’s new girlfriend – who later became his wife – moved into the condo in January of 2016 and got married the following month.
But the indictment alleges Diaz and Jane Doe were involved in an ongoing dispute about the property until about October of 2016, when Diaz sold it.
Diaz has been charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking, cyberstalking, and perjury for his false testimony in connection with the federal lawsuit brought by Jane Doe.MORE NEWS: Viral Trend On TikTok Encourages Students To Damage School Property, Steal
He was arrested Thursday and made his initial court appearance at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division. If convicted as charged, Diaz faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for each count.