(KMSP) - A University of Minnesota law professor is now behind bars in connection to a domestic assault complaint and criminal sexual conduct.
Police arrested 54-year-old Francesco Parisi after he allegedly attempted to run over a former lover last month by driving his car up on a curb as the woman ran away. He is currently booked in Hennepin County jail.
According to the police report, the woman apparently suffered a seizure during the incident.
The woman told police the two had been intimate for five months before breaking up and that the professor “continues to harass and stalk” her.
With the county attorney’s office weighing potential charges, professor Parisi’s own legal team vehemently denies the allegations, explaining that this is a toxic fallout from a broken romance and business partnership.
“Professor Parisi is 100 percent completely innocent of these allegations,” said criminal defense attorney Barry Edwards. “This is an attempt by an estranged friend in her ongoing attempt to extort concessions in some real estate negotiations between the parties.”
Parisi lists nearly half a dozen degrees in law and economics, and he boasts of authoring 10 books and some 200 papers in his field of expertise.
The University released a statement Monday afternoon confirming it's aware of the arrest, but hasn't had the chance to discuss his teaching status at the law school with him yet.