Minneapolis Star Tribune:
In what appears to be the largest award of its kind in state history, a University of Minnesota Law School professor has won nearly $1.2 million in his defamation case against a woman whose false rape allegation had him locked up in jail for three weeks and charged with a felony.
Francesco Parisi prevailed Monday in Hennepin County District Court after a bench trial in September. Judge Daniel Moreno ruled that more than $800,000 of the award will go to Parisi for economic losses, along with $325,000 to cover emotional, punitive and reputational damages.
The County Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against Parisi in March 2017 after saying there was no evidence to support the allegations that he raped the woman in 2015.
Morgan Wright’s “plethora of allegations against Parisi lack credibility,” the judge wrote in his ruling, adding that her “accusations were false, made with malice. [She] injured Parisi as a direct result of her untruthful narrative crusade.”
Moreno also pointed out one more consequence of the false allegations, writing, “Parisi was not able to be with his mother as she passed away while he was being held in custody.”