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Top Stories of 2018: Ex-coach charged with sexual assault, sparking probe of NFA officials

The Sept. 12 arrest of fired Norwich Free Academy assistant coach Anthony Facchini on two counts of second-degree sexual assault for allegedly having sexual relations with two students was not the end of the monthslong Norwich police investigation. Police are investigating whether NFA administrators failed to report the allegations to the state Department of Children and Families, as required by state law, or attempted to cover up the allegations. Police warrants said NFA officials first learned of the allegations in April 2017 but closed the case after a two-day inquiry because the coach and a student denied the allegations.

Norwich police, members of the FBI Computer Analysis Response Team and the state police Computer Crimes Unit executed a search and seizure warrant Sept. 12 on the NFA campus for computers and electronic devices, and obtained emails and data from various school officials from April 24, 2017, through Sept. 12, 2018. Athletic Director Eric Swallow resigned Sept. 10, two days before Facchini’s arrest. The NFA board of trustees is conducting its own internal investigation into the administrators’ actions.

— Claire Bessette

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