A former Northern Arizona University professor is facing federal charges for allegedly stalking and making up false rape allegations against firefighters. As AZ Central shares, 36-year-old Melissa Ann Santana is being charged with stalking or making false statements against at least 11 people.
Santana was an associate professor of interior design at the time of the incidents, which ranged from Feb. 1, 2015 to Sept. 22, 2017. She allegedly sent threatening messages to three crew members (including that they "go die" at their next fire), an NAU student and more, per the federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Coconino County last month.
Some victims met her online and others were family members of men she knew. At least one of her male victims said that he had a relationship with her that had ended. He claims that his car was vandalized and he received several negative texts after their affair ended. Some victims said she stalked them on social media or Tinder. One alleges that she started a "smear campaign" against him, falsely posting that he has sexually transmitted diseases.
Santana, who is married, also allegedly sent false allegations against firefighters by email or text to their supervisors, stating that they had sex with an underage, 15-year-old girl.
The victims say that she harassed them using different identities, email-addresses, social-media accounts and temporary phone numbers. Authorities reportedly traced the accounts to her through search warrants of her phone and electronic communications.
Santana's defense maintains her innocence. Her attorney, Stephen Wallin, said, "We will be defending these charges vigorously."
She is slated to appear in federal court on Nov. 29 on the felony charges.
[Photo: Flagstaff Police Dept]