By N.j. Burkett
October 26, 2016

[with video]

A Roman Catholic priest from New Jersey has been charged in Pennsylvania with uploading child pornography to an internet chat room. His lawyer is attacking the probe and says the priest will "vigorously" defend himself.

The Rev. Kevin Gugliotta of Mahwah is charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and 20 counts of dissemination of child pornography.

He was arrested last week at his home in Toms River, New Jersey, after detectives confirmed a series of tips that the priest had acquired dozens of photos and videos from the internet while at his weekend home in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

He is being held pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said Wednesday the images were uploaded from an internet address registered to Gugliotta in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.

Gugliotta's attorney, Jim Swetz, says it doesn't appear investigators recovered the device Gugliotta allegedly used.

Gugliotta is parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Church in Union, New Jersey.

Parisioners refused to discuss the allegations on camera, not at Holy Spirit in Union or St. Bartholomew's in Scotch Plains, where he worked for eight years.

He last worked at Holy Spirit, where Wayne County police confronted him in the church rectory.

A detective "...asked Gugliotta if we could examine his laptop computer and he asked to speak to an attorney. At that point, we ended the interview. (t)hroughout the entire interview, Gugliotta never denied possessing child pornography on his laptop computer. He began to tear up, his mouth became extremely dry and he became fidgety in his chair, all of which are signs of deception."

Sources say he worked at Holy Spirit for barely two weeks, and was not well-known. Parishioners at St. Bartholomew's were stunned by the arrest, where he was known and admired by hundreds of families.

The crimes are, "alleged to have occurred in Pennsylvania, where he maintains a vacation home, using his personal laptop," said a spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese. "There are no allegations that he may have engaged in similar activities in New Jersey."


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