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Norwich Free Academy coach pleads not guilty; warrant to remain sealed

September 21, 2018

Former Norwich Free Academy Assistant Coach Anthony Facchini pleaded not guilty to two charges of second-degree sexual assault Friday during his first appearance in the New London court where serious crimes are heard.

He appeared briefly before Superior Court Judge Hillary B. Strackbein, who granted the state’s motion to continue sealing for 45 days the arrest warrant affidavit that detail’s the case against Facchini. The 25-year-old Facchini is accused of having sexual relations with two students at NFA starting in 2017. State law prohibits sexual between school employees or coaches and students.

State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan requested the continued sealing of the affidavit because of the ongoing investigation “regarding the facts of the case.”

The case will be prosecuted by Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Theresa Anne Ferryman, who specializes in sexual assault cases. Attorney Michael Blanchard from the Suisman Shapiro law firm, who frequently defends clients accused of sexual assault is representing Facchini. His next court date is Oct. 19.

Norwich Police are working with the FBI Computer Analysis Response Team and the state police Computer Crimes Unit to review internal communications at NFA regarding the allegations. The agencies executed a search and seizure warrant at the school on Sept. 12.

Facchini’s attorney will have access to the affidavit, but it will remain sealed to the public. The search warrant affidavits also are sealed.

NFA fired Facchini July 12 with a one-sentence termination letter that made no reference to the police investigation. His firing came one month after a teacher at the school alerted school officials about the alleged inappropriate relationship.

Athletic Director Eric Swallow resigned Sept. 10, two days before the arrest and search and seizure activity on campus. NFA officials have not said whether his resignation is connected to the investigation.

NFA officials have said they are cooperating fully with police in the investigation.

k.florin@theday.com

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