WATERBURY — A former girls high school coach in Bristol and Southington has pleaded not guilty in an alleged sexual assault of a student at Wolcott High School.
Michael Forgione, 49, of Plantsville, entered not guilty pleas to charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace during a hearing Tuesday in Waterbury Superior Court, according to the Associated Press.
The case was continued.
Following the hearing, Forgione’s attorney, Ioannis Kaloidis, said he will push for a jury trial, the AP reports.
Police said they received a complaint in May from a Wolcott High School student who alleges that Forgione rubbed up against her during a gym class. Forgione is a physical education teacher at the school.
Forgione was suspended with pay following the complaint.
After investigating the matter, Wolcott police acquired a warrant for Forgione’s arrest and charged him last Thursday. He is free on $10,000 bond.
Kaloidis issued a statement following the arrest in which he proclaimed his client “innocent of all the baseless charges.” He went on to say he “intends to fight the charges vigorously.”
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.
Kaloidis said his client cooperated during the investigations conducted by both Wolcott police and the Department of Children and Families. According to his attorney, Forgione was cleared of any wrongdoing during the DCF investigation.
“We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Waterbury States Attorney’s office elected to pursue these baseless and uncorroborated allegations,” Kaloidis said in his statement.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.