MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The criminal sexual assault case against a University of Minnesota law school professor appears to be falling apart, with charges expected to be dropped as early as Thursday, FOX 9 has learned.
Francesco Parisi was charged three weeks ago with criminal sexual conduct, stalking and harassment. He was released from the Hennepin County Jail Tuesday night after his bail was reduce to $3,000. His bail was originally set at $500,000.
The allegations come from Parisi's ex-girlfriend. On January 24, she reported to Minneapolis Police that Parisi tried to run her over with his car six days earlier, and had raped her two years earlier.
In a prepared statement for FOX 9, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said: “We are working diligently to corroborate and verify a number of the allegations that the victim has made regarding this incident. While that process is ongoing the defendant will be conditionally released with court supervised conditions that include no contact with the victim."
"It should not have been charged. Someone should have done five minutes of due diligence, or call me," said John Braun, an attorney handling a contentious and protracted property dispute between Parisi and his ex-girlfriend.
That legal dispute began around two years ago, and concerns a condo Parisi and his then girlfriend were planning to buy together, and subdivide between them. Two appeals courts have ruled in Parisi's favor. There is also a civil suit.
Braun believes the criminal allegations were being used to defame and retaliate against Parisi.
According to the criminal charges filed three weeks ago, on January 22, 2015, Parisi told his girlfriend he was HIV positive and once had sex with a 14-year-old girl. Parisi denies the allegations.
She says he "flipped out," when she confronted him, slamming her head into the floor. She claims she had a seizure, and when she woke up, Parisi was anally penetrating her. She told police the attack left her with three broken teeth and needing colon surgery.
THE PAPER TRAIL
Two months after the alleged rape, in March of 2015, the woman took out an order for protection against Parisi. She references the argument in January of that year, but there is no mention of a rape or sexual assault. In April 2015, she agreed to dismiss the order.
On June 30, 2016, she filed a report with Minneapolis Police, when for the first time in any public document, she says she was raped, 17 months earlier.
Braun said the day before she had lost a significant court battle in the property case and was ordered to pay court costs and $4,500 for rent.
"The next day, she calls police to say she's been raped by this fellow," he said.
A couple of months later, August 2016, she files a second restraining order, which references the alleged sexual assault, and said Parisi is "hunting me down like a dog."
"I think police came in with this report, prosecutor charged it out, and no one bothered to check phone book, much less public records, to find out what might be an alternative motive and just check the facts," said Braun.
The alleged victim has a pattern of such legal maneuvers. She has previously taken out a restraining order against a neighbor, and she took out two restraining orders against an ex-husband, who has since committed suicide. In the late 1990's she also accused her ex-husband of trying to run her over.
Parisi has been given permission to travel to Italy to attend his mother's funeral. She died two days ago.
FOX 9 reached out to the alleged victim in the case, but she never returned our call.