NFA trustees discuss sexual assault allegations, FOI requests behind closed doors

Norwich — The Norwich Free Academy board of trustees met for about 90 minutes behind closed doors Monday morning to discuss personnel matters related to the arrest of former coach Anthony Facchini for alleged sexual relations with two students.

The board did not take any action during the meeting.

Chairwoman Sarette Williams said after the meeting that its purpose was also to discuss the Freedom of Information Act requests seeking documents related to the police investigation into whether NFA administrators and staff failed to report allegations that Facchini had sexual relations with two students while he worked at the academy in 2017 and 2018.

The board is conducting its own, internal investigation.

According to the arrest warrant and police search warrants for NFA computers and emails, NFA officials first learned of the allegations of one of the relationships in April 2017 but dismissed them after a two-day inquiry in which the coach and student both denied the claims.

Both the Norwich and Lisbon boards of education, partner districts that send students to NFA, have requested detailed information, including emails, Campus Safety Director Kevin Rodino's initial April 2017 investigation report and related documents.

Usually Freedom of Information Act requests are directed at the administration, Williams said, but given the requests were directed to the board, its members need to be informed about what their role is.

The board's attorney, Kyle McClain was present at Monday's meeting to facilitate those discussions.

"We've had conversations with several of the partner districts face to face and we'll continue those discussions," Williams said.

j.bergman@theday.com

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