He was a popular law professor at the University of Minnesota until his world fell apart.
“It was a horror movie,” said Parisi.
Many of his law school students, especially the women, assumed he was guilty. Enrollment in his classes dropped by 60 percent with some classes cancelled
And in the eyes of the internet, he might as well have been convicted.
“Even after those charges were dropped, people Google my name and only see a professor accused of so many crimes,” Parisi explained.
He was accused of a violent anal rape of a woman he had sex with, but only after things went south.
Days after the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Wright’s eviction in June 2016, Wright reported to Minneapolis Police that Parisi had raped her 18 months earlier, on January 22, 2015.
Every red flag that could be was raised, the same red flags now commonly argued don’t disprove anything. After being rejected once by police, Morgan Wright went again to a new officer and tried again. This time she got some traction.
“One Minneapolis Police Officer actually read the case that way and declined it for prosecution,” he said. “Morgan Wright came back six months later and found another police officer and the whole thing started over again.”
Parisi spent three weeks in jail on a half million dollars bail before the case was dropped to the complete absence of evidence. Not that his female students cared.
Francesco Parisi has now won a defamation award against Morgan Wright, totaling $1.2 million. It will look lovely in a frame on the wall.
It is believed to be the largest defamation judgement in Minnesota. The vast majority of the judgement, $814,514 is for economic losses, as well as reputational and emotional damages. Only $100,000 was for punitive damages.
And while Wright claims to be destitute and on disability for a seizure disorder, she lives in a luxury downtown condo and is known to drive a Mercedes convertible.
Whether he will be able to collect is anyone’s guess. But he’s certainly suffered every degradation a falsely accused man could suffer, which might end this post as it began, “a horror movie.” And yet, it doesn’t quite finish there.
Parisi, who is the father of five daughters, said he believes in the “Me Too” movement, and believes the tragedy of the case is that it could take away credibility from real victims who should be heard and believed.
As author Stephen Elliot, the victim of false accusations in the Shitty Media Men fiasco, noted on twitter, the dissonance is incomprehensible.
When I read about guys like this saying, at the end of the article, that despite being falsely accused of rape, and all his students believing he’s guilty, he still believes in the MeToo movement, I want to poke my eyes out.
Why would Parisi say such a thing? Stockholm Syndrome? Trying to virtue signal his way back into the good graces of the legal academy? Or is he just that blind? By what twisted logic can a person whose life has been ruined by false accusations end with supporting guilt by accusation, guilt without an opportunity to challenge, guilt in the court of the unduly passionate?
That false accusations, because women are human too, happen should be uncontroversial (although it’s tantamount to heresy in some circles). That they undermine the credibility of real victims is a legitimate concern, even though a more rational view would scrutinize every accusation on its own merit rather than as some stereotypical commentary on the credibility of female accusers.
But MeToo? That’s the rub.
Many victims of false accusations can’t rise above the harm they’ve suffered. It’s one thing to learn the lesson that false accusations happen, that evidence matters, that due process is what distinguishes having one’s life destroyed for a lie that the useful idiots believe because, well, women. But just as there are false accusations, there are true ones. And there are harms done the victims of true accusations. Their lives matter, just as the lives of the falsely accused matter.
Hard as this is for so many to process these days, it’s the facts that distinguish between the accuser and accused, between the perpetrator and the victim. It’s not their gender or the nature of the accusations. It’s the facts, and the mechanism by which the facts are vetted is due process.
So how is it possible that a law professor, a scholar, a victim of false accusations, like Francesco Parisi comes out of this horror movie saying something as monumentally absurd as “I believe in MeToo”?
The foundation of MeToo is guilt by accusation, punishment by the mob, no chance to defend and, even if a defense was attempted, shouted down by mob, chanting the litany of facile infantile excuses culminating in “BelieveWomen.” Is Parisi saying believe Morgan Wright, just like Joe Biden has managed to escape scrutiny behind his chorus of hypocrisy apologists?
That Parisi isn’t bitter toward women is gracious given his experience. He might have reason to be, beyond the false accusations of Wright, as his students, “especially the women, assumed he was guilty.” It’s bad enough to be presumed guilty by the groundlings, but to be presumed guilty by female law students is far worse.
Francesco Parisi has certainly endured more than his share of suffering at the hands of a false accuser. Whether he will ever see a dime from this judgment is a mystery at this point, as driving a Mercedes isn’t the same as owning one. And it’s to his credit that he’s a better person than those sad victims who can’t let go of their pain and recognize that the existence of false accusers does not preclude the existence of real victims.
But if he wanted due process for himself, then it makes no sense that he would support the denial of due process to others. Either innocence matters or it doesn’t. It mattered to Prawf Parisi in his time of need. His support of the unchallengeable presumption of unproven guilt of MeToo is inexcusable.