WOLCOTT - A former girls high school coach in Bristol and Southington was arrested Thursday in connection with an alleged sexual assault.
Michael Forgione, 49, of Plantsville, faces charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace.
Police said they received a complaint in May from a Wolcott High School student. Forgione is a physical education teacher there.
“Once the complaint was received, Forgione was immediately suspended with pay, thus having no contact with any students while the investigation was being conducted,” police said in a news release.
Upon acquiring a warrant for his arrest, police said, Forgione’s attorney was notified and the 49-year-old turned himself in on Thursday. He is free on $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Thursday.
The Plantsville resident’s attorney, Ioannis Kaloidis, issued a statement following his arrest.
“Mr. Forgione is innocent of all the baseless charges that have been leveled against him,” the statement said. “Mr. Forgione intends to fight all the charges vigorously and looks forward to being vindicated at the end of what we anticipate will be a long and painful process.”
Kaloidis added, “Despite dozens of people being present when this alleged incident occurred, no one saw anything. No one saw anything because nothing happened.”
From 1996 to 2016, Forgione served as the girls track and field coach at Bristol Central High School. In March, he stepped down as the girls basketball coach at Southington High School after nine years.
“Mr. Forgione cooperated fully with the investigation, meeting with both the Wolcott Police and the Department of Children and Families,” Kaloidis’ statement continued. “Mr. Forgione was cleared of any wrongdoing by DCF as the allegations against him were unsubstantiated. We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Waterbury States Attorney’s office elected to pursue these baseless and uncorroborated allegations.”
“Mr. Forgione has been a teacher and coach for over 20 years and has never been accused of any misconduct. It is truly a tragedy that a man’s career and livelihood can be put at risk based on one single, uncorroborated false allegation. Mr. Forgione will be vindicated.”