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Priest charged with providing gun to a minor now charged with child sex abuse

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A Roman Catholic priest from Bridgeport, Conn., who had already been suspended last year by the Archdiocese of Hartford, was arrested on March 31 on a total of seven child sexual assault charges.

Police in East Windsor arrested Rev. Paul Gotta, 55, on Monday and charged him with those seven sexual assaults against a minor. Two of the charges against Gotta are felonies, while five are misdemeanors, according to The Times.

Police say the assaults occurred over the span of about a year beginning in January 2012. No other details of the allegations were released.

Gotta was already under house arrest and wearing an ankle bracelet when police arrested him at his Bridgeport home on Monday.

Last year, Gotta had reported that a high school student had possession of firearms and explosives, and that the student had threatened Gotta in addition to other individuals at the school.

Turns out though, it was Gotta who allegedly furnished that student, 18-year-old Kyle Bass, with the gun, ammunition and explosives.

Investigators said Gotta helped Bass acquire thousands of rounds of ammunition along with a hand gun. Gotta also allegedly helped the teen make a pipe bomb. ~ WFSB

Gotta was indicted in January on charges which included “illegally transferring a gun, ammunition and explosive material to a juvenile.” His trial on those charges is set to begin in May.

Around the same time that Gotta was making the news for allegedly supplying a student with a gun, ammo and explosives, child sex abuse allegations against him began to arise. Gotta was suspended from his administrator’s position at East Windsor’s St. Philip and St. Catherine churches after the archdiocese learned of the child sex assault accusations lodged against him.

Gotta’s archdiocese released a statement following his arrest on child sex assault allegations saying that he will remain on administrative leave pending the outcomes of his legal woes, and that “the archdiocese is committed to keeping children safe.”

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

Gotta is currently being held on $100,000 bail.

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