Ex-coach accused of sexually assaulting students avoids prison

A former assistant football and track coach at a Connecticut high school charged with having sexual relationships with two female students pleaded no contest Thursday to reduced charges.

Anthony Facchini, 26, a former coach at Norwich Free Academy, originally faced two counts of second-degree sexual assault but pleaded no contest to risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment in New London Superior Court.

In exchange, he won't face any time behind bars. He's expected to get a five-year suspended sentence and five years of probation at sentencing on Feb. 10.

The plea deal was a compromise, prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman said.

"Neither victim is eager to take the stand and defendant is willing to plead guilty and take the sentence," she said.

Facchini declined to comment outside of court.

According to authorities, Facchini had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old senior in the winter and spring of 2017.

He met the second student when she was 15 and they started a sexual relationship in January 2018 after she turned 16, authorities said.

Authorities started investigating in June 2018 when another coach at the school reported a possible sexual relationship involving Facchini and a student to state child welfare authorities.

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