Prosecutors drop sex assault, stalking charges against U of M professor

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the case was dropped "in the interests of justice."
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Prosecutors have dropped all charges against a University of Minnesota law professor initially accused of sexually assaulting and stalking a former girlfriend.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said it had dropped the case against 54-year-old Francesco Parisi "in the interests of justice."

Parisi was charged last month with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and stalking, with a criminal complaint accusing him of violently sexually assaulting his ex and attempting to run her over with his car.

But the attorney's office said that after "thorough and diligent efforts," investigators were unable to "corroborate or verify a number of specific allegations" against him.

"Considering all of the evidence gathered during the course of the investigation, the charges are no longer supported by probable cause and dismissed," its statement said.

After his arrest, Parisi’s attorneys told FOX 9 he’s completely innocent, and called it a ploy by the woman to get more out of ongoing real estate negotiations.

Parisi is a professor at the U of M’s law school, having previously held a position with University of Milan (Statale) from 2002 to 2006. He was slated to teach three courses at the U of M in spring of 2017.

In a statement sent to GoMN News, a university spokesperson said: "We are aware that the charges against Professor Parisi have been dropped by the county attorney. He remains an active employee, but is focusing on his research and will not be teaching the remainder of the semester."

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