Charges: U of M law professor sexually assaulted, stalked ex-girlfriend

A University of Minnesota law professor is facing charges for allegedly stalking and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and attempting to run her over with his car. 

According to the criminal complaint, Francesco Parisi, 54, and the victim dated for several months during the summer of 2014.

FIRST REPORT: U of M law professor accused of trying to hit former girlfriend with car

The victim told police that while they were dating, Parisi had been drinking a lot and had started getting “crazier and crazier.” He was reportedly diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression and was put on medication.

After they broke up, the victim told police Parisi continued to harass and stalk her for more than two years.

In January 2015, Parisi allegedly anally raped the victim after she confronted him about some disturbing confessions he had made to her. Parisi reportedly told her had been diagnosed with HIV and had been sleeping with some of his students. He also admitted to providing alcohol to and having sex with a group of 14-year-old girls.

The victim had to have colon surgery to repair the damage from the rape. She also suffered mentally from the assault and had to seek help.

Following the incident, the victim stopped communicating with Parisi. At one point, she took out a protection order against him, but later dropped it.

On Jan. 17, the victim said she was running in downtown Minneapolis around 4 p.m. when she saw a black Jeep she believed belonged to Parisi. She panicked and began to run told the police station, at which point Parisi allegedly drove up onto the sidewalk and attempted to hit her with his car.

After making it inside a nearby building, the victim, who suffers from seizures under stress or panic, had a seizure.

She said this was the third time he had followed her and tried to run her over with his car.

Parisi was arrested last week. In a statement released by his attorney, Barry Edwards, Parisi says the allegations were made with "zero evidence." 

Parisi is charged with criminal sexual conduct and stalking. He will make his first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon.

Full statement from Barry Edwards, lawyer for Francesco Parisi

The "victim" has made allegations with zero evidence, other than her word, based on facts that have already been disproven in court in her various civil actions to try to discredit Professor Parisi. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office has failed to do their due diligence in charging these allegations.  

Full statement from the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is aware of the charges filed against Francesco Parisi by the Hennepin County Attorney. We take allegations of this nature seriously, and will continue to monitor the legal proceedings. Given the circumstances surrounding the situation, we have not yet had an opportunity to discuss the matter or his status with him, and will have no further updates at this time.

Any additional questions regarding the case should be directed to the Hennepin County Attorney.