East Windsor Priest Arraigned on Sexual Abuse Charges

By Hilda Munoz
Hartford Courant
March 29, 2014,0,6401760.story

An East Windsor priest who was indicted on federal firearms charges is now accused of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Paul Gotta, 55, was arraigned Monday in Superior Court in Enfield on two counts of second-degree sexual assault and five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

He was held on $100,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled April 14.

Gotta's arrest warrant was sealed and details of the sexual assault case are not being released at this time, police said.

Gotta was placed on leave by the Catholic Church last year when allegations that he sexually abused a minor first surfaced. He will remain on leave until the charges are ajudicated, said Maria Zone, a spokeswoman for the Hartford Archdiocese.

"We offer our prayers for all concerned in this matter and for all who have suffered the effects of sexual abuse in our society. We also pray that truth, justice and healing will be served for everyone involved in this case," she said.

Gotta was administrator of St. Philip and St. Catherine churches in East Windsor.

He initially approached authorities in June 2013 to report that a high school student, Kyle Bass, had firearms and explosives and that he had made troubling comments about his school, the Metropolitan Learning Center in Bloomfield.

But Gotta's credibility was called into question after his arrest on federal firearms charges in July. He was then was indicted in February for allegedly helping Bass to acquire weapons, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The indictment alleges that Gotta helped Bass purchase a handgun in Arizona and transport it to Connecticut in 2012. It also states that Gotta aided in the purchase of thousands of rounds of ammunition and the construction of a homemade pipe bomb.

Bass was arrested in June 2013 on charges that manufactured bombs and planned a prank at his high school. Authorities found firearms, silencers made of soda bottles and explosive material at Bass' home in East Windsor.

But initial allegations that portrayed him as a troubled young man who was planning violence turned out not to be true, State prosecutor Robin Krawczyk said during one of Bass' court appearances.

Bass pleaded guilty in January in Superior Court in Hartford to two counts of possession of a silencer and is awaiting sentencing. He faces 10 years in prison, suspended after three years, and three years of probation. His attorney will have the right to argue for a fully suspended sentence.









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