MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A University of Minnesota law professor has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and stalking, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office.
Francesco Parisi, 54, was arrested last Friday by Minneapolis police, with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service.
According to the criminal complaint, a woman told police on Jan. 24 that Parisi, whom she had briefly dated two years earlier, had been stalking her ever since their breakup.
The victim said she started dating Parisi in the summer of 2014, but he began drinking heavily and acting out due to untreated mental illness.
The victim, who suffers from stressed-induced seizures, told investigators that Parisi anally raped her in late January of 2015. She said before the attack, Parisi had admitted to having HIV for two years, as well as sleeping with some of his students and teenage girls.
She says Parisi went into a rage when she confronted him about his revelations. She tried to leave his home, but Parisi allegedly grabbed her and slammed her to the ground, triggering a seizure. The victim says when she regained consciousness, Parisi was anally raping her. She says she had to wait until her bodily motor control returned before she could get up and leave.
The victim says she suffered three broken teeth in the attack, and required colon surgery.
The complaint says Parisi kept texting the victim for weeks after the rape, and came to her residence on several occasions. She eventually filed a restraining order against him in March of 2015.
The victim says she later dropped the restraining order after Parisi told her he could lose his job and be kicked out of the country, but his behavior became even more dangerous afterwards.
She says Parisi was following her in his SUV while she was on a run in downtown Minneapolis on Jan. 17, and he allegedly drove up a curb to try to hit her as she ran towards the First Precinct building. She says he came as close as two feet away from hitting her. She ran into a building, suffered a seizure in an elevator from the stress and was hospitalized. This was the second time he had threatening to strike her with his vehicle.
She told police: “If something happens to me, he did it.”
County Attorney Mike Freeman says his office is trying to set Parisi’s bail at $500,000.
He is being held in Hennepin County Jail, and could spend up to 40 years in prison if convicted.
University of Minnesota officials released a brief statement about Parisi’s situation on Tuesday, saying they “have not had an opportunity to discuss the matter or his status with him.”