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Norwich Free Academy trustees discuss arrest, police investigation

September 19, 2018

Norwich — The Norwich Free Academy board of trustees met for 90 minutes behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss for the first time the recent arrest of a former assistant coach on sexual assault charges and resignation of the three-year athletic director.

Board of trustees Chairwoman Sarette Williams declined to comment on specifics of the board’s discussion, but she and attorney Kyle McClain said in general that the executive session included “formally advising the board in the presence of legal counsel about the facts surrounding the arrest” of the “ex-seasonal coach.” Head of School David Klein also attended the closed-door session.

Former assistant coach Anthony Facchini was charged on Sept. 12 with two counts of second-degree sexual assault. Police said the investigation, launched in June 2018, revealed Facchini allegedly had sexual relations with two NFA students beginning in 2017 while he was on staff as an athletic coach.

He was released on a 11,708 for his roles as assistant track coach for spring 2017, as strength and conditioning coach for the 2017-18 school year with specific sports not listed, as assistant football coach in fall 2017, winter indoor track for 2017-18 and spring track in 2018.

Documents provided included a certificate that Facchini had completed a coaching competency certificate course for concussions and head injury training and two American Red Cross CPR/AED first aid courses.

State Department of Education spokesman Peter Yazbak said those certifications are only part of the requirements for high school coaches, and Facchini did not possess the state-required five-year coaching permit or a one-year emergency permit.

The five-year coaching certificate requires a three-credit semester course or 45 hours of instruction in a program approved by the state Department of Education that includes instruction in legal, safety and medical aspects of coaching adolescents, and “Principles and practices of coaching adolescents and adolescent sports psychology,” the regulation states.

Yazbak said unless Facchini was working at all times under direct supervision of a head coach — “within sight and earshot” — he at least should have had a one-year temporary emergency permit when he was hired.

c.bessette@theday.com

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