Charges dropped against U of M law professor Francesco Parisi

- All criminal charges were dropped Thursday against University of Minnesota law professor Francesco Parisi, as the Fox 9 Investigators exclusively reported Wednesday night. After he was released from jail Tuesday, Parisi left Wednesday night for Italy to attend his mother's funeral. 

In the prosecutor's filing for the case dismissal on Thursday, assistant Hennepin County Attorney Justin Wesley writes, "Efforts to corroborate or verify a number of specific allegations against the defendant that were made to the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Attorney's Office were unsuccessful."

The statement goes on to say that, "the charges are no longer supported by probable cause and are hereby dismissed in the interests of justice.'

Parisi's criminal defense attorney, Michael Colich, had asked prosecutors for a more definitive statement declaring the allegations to be fiction, and that Parisi is innocent.

“If they don’t have enough evidence now, they must not have had enough evidence then,” said Parisi’s civil counsel John Braun.

Braun believes the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office acted recklessly, as he says it would have taken “less than five minutes” to see red flags.

“They didn’t do any investigation to determine whether these accusations came from a credible person because they would have found that this is a person who has...she has a history going back decades of abusing the legal process to exact revenge.”

According to court documents, the alleged victim filed a restraining order against a neighbor in 2010 which resulted in the neighbor filing a defamation suit. The defamation suit was eventually dropped.

In 2005, she received an order for protection against her ex-husband. In that filing, she claimed her husband tried to run her over. She made the same allegation against Parisi 12 years later.

“Both his professional and his social reputation have been irreparably damaged by these allegations,” said Braun.

Braun said he plans to file a defamation suit against the woman.

Fox 9 reached the alleged victim by phone, but she declined to comment.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office released the following statement:

"The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office today filed the necessary document to drop all charges against Francesco Parisi. Prosecutors dismissed the charges in the interest of justice. Specifically, thorough and diligent efforts to corroborate or verify a number of specific allegations against Mr. Parisi that were made to the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office were unsuccessful. Considering all of the evidence gathered during the course of the investigation, the charges are no longer supported by probable cause and dismissed. We will have no further comment."All criminal charges were dropped Thursday against University of Minnesota law professor Francesco Parisi, as the Fox 9 Investigators exclusively reported Wednesday night. After he was released from jail Tuesday, Parisi left Wednesday night for Italy to attend his mother's funeral.

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