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Published March 1, 2024

UMN Law School professor charged with sexual assault and stalking

Francesco Parisi will appear in court on Wednesday.
Walter F. Mondale Hall on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017.
Image by Carter Jones
Walter F. Mondale Hall on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017.

A University of Minnesota Law School professor arrested last week was charged Tuesday with sexually assaulting and stalking an ex-girlfriend.

Francesco Parisi, who has taught at the University since 2006, according to his online resume, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and stalking.

He appeared in the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility Wednesday where his bail was set without conditions at $500,000 and with conditions at $350,000. His hearing is scheduled for March 21.

His conditions for release were to turn over his passport and not come into contact with the alleged victim-survivor, among other requirements.

As of Wednesday, Parisi, 54, remained in Hennepin County Jail. Parisi was arrested on Friday by the U.S. Marshals Service.

In the criminal complaint, the victim-survivor said she and Parisi were in a relationship beginning in the summer of 2014, but separated a few months later after he started getting “crazier and crazier.”

The victim-survivor alleged that Parisi raped her, had sex with students — as well as a 14-year-old and her friends — and gave alcohol to minors in Jan. 2015.

When the woman confronted him about these claims, she alleged that Parisi slammed her to the ground, resulting in a seizure, according to the complaint. When she recovered, Parisi raped her.

After the assault, he “acted like nothing had happened,” according to court documents.

She later went to the hospital with three broken teeth and had to have surgery for injuries from the assault, according to court documents.

Following the rape, the victim-survivor ceased communication with Parisi, but he continued to stalk and harass her, according to the criminal complaint. When she filed a protection order in March 2015, he asked her to drop it since he is not a U.S. citizen and he would lose his job. She complied.

After the Jan. 2015 incident there were two separate times when he tried to hit her with his car, according to the complaint.

On Jan. 17, the victim-survivor was running and saw Parisi following her in a car, according to the complaint. He drove onto the curb and the victim ran away into a building. She then suffered a seizure and a bystander called 911. She was hospitalized for three days, court documents show.

Parisi’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a statement, a University spokesman said the school is aware of the charges but has not had an opportunity to discuss Parisi’s status at the University.

“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,” the statement read.  

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