Connecticut priest accused of sexual assault also helped teen build pipe bomb
One of the Connecticut priests accused of sexual abuse was also sentenced to prison for helping a teen build a pipe bomb.
Father Paul Gotta, who pleaded guilty in 2016 on explosives and firearms charges, was one of the 36 priests the Archdiocese of Hartford named earlier this year as being credibly accused of abuse since 1953. Most of these accusations involved children.
Gotta served in New Haven, Hamden, East Windsor and several other Connecticut towns, the Republican-American reported. He was a sacramental minister at Southern Connecticut State University and a part-time chaplain at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, among other positions in the Catholic church, according to the Republican-American.
He was suspended from the priesthood in 2013 after he was accused of sexually assaulting a minor, according to the Associated Press.
The arrest warrant accused Gotta of telling the teenage boy who did odd jobs at East Windsor’s St. Philip Church and St. Catherine Church that he would not get paid unless the boy stripped naked, according to the Journal Inquirer. Gotta also performed sexual acts on the teen and forced him to illegally purchase a gun, the outlet reported the arrest warrant as saying. The abuse occurred between January 2012 and February 2013.
Gotta was sentenced to nine months in prison in 2017 after prosecutors said he helped a teen buy thousands of rounds of handgun ammunition and gave him two pounds of explosives powder, according to the Associated Press.
The charges that Gotta sexually assaulted a minor were dropped as part of a deal where Gotta pleaded guilty to breach of peace and received no jail time.