Priest Sentenced in Child Porn Case
By Jim Hamill
August 24, 2017
A priest from New Jersey was sentenced Thursday for having child pornography at his home in Wayne County.
Fr. Kevin Gugliotta was sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 and a half months in prison and must register as a sex offender.
He pleaded guilty earlier this year to having child porn on a computer at his apartment in Gouldsboro.
Fr. Gugliotta was a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey and had a residence in Wayne County.
He stayed silent as he left the Wayne County Courthouse in Honesdale.
"While he'd prefer this didn't happen, he's used this nine, ten months almost as a retreat; he's prayed a lot," said Fr. Gabriel Costa of the Archdiocese of Newark.
Several fellow priests from New Jersey came to support Fr. Gugliotta at sentencing. The priest and high stakes poker player apologized in court, saying that while in jail since his arrest last fall, he has fasted and prayed and takes full responsibility for his actions.
Before sentencing, Fr. Gugliotta told probation officers he uploaded child porn to get back at God. The priest felt God was attacking him because he wasn't winning poker tournaments.
"That was his reason. He's not happy that's how he felt, as the judge indicated. There are other ways to handle issues and handle anger," said defense attorney Jim Swetz.
"That was a surprising thing in the court, for sure. People do things under stress they wouldn't normally do," said Fr. Costa.
Regardless of why he did it, Fr. Gugliotta will now have to register as a sex offender for 25 years and follow a long list of probation requirements, including no unsupervised contact with a child.
"The idea that this person is now thankful and sorry for his actions, that's fine. However, we can't reach out to these victims. There are children out there who have been harmed greatly by the fact he sat and downloaded and watched on multiple occasions," said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.
Fr. Gugliotta is not associated with any Catholic diocese in our area. He has been suspended from the ministry in New Jersey and now the Archdiocese of Newark plans to decide whether he can return as a priest.
Because Fr. Gugliotta has already spent 10 months in jail, he could be released in little more than a month.