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Apr 17, 9:28 AM EDT

Authorities: Abuse by East Windsor priest contributed to illegal activities by youngster


ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- A former East Windsor priest sexually assaulted a teenager who worked at his parishes, making the boy remove his clothes for his paychecks and causing him to seek hospital treatment for the abuse, authorities said.

According to an arrest warrant unsealed Tuesday in Enfield Superior Court, the Rev. Paul Gotta was charged on March 31 with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, the Journal Inquirer ( http://bit.ly/1mderez ) reported. Police say the incidents occurred between January 2012 and February 2013.

Gotta is free on a $100,000 bond and due back in court May 13. His lawyer did not immediately return a call Thursday morning seeking comment.

Police say the abuse contributed to the boy's willingness to participate in illegal activities for Gotta such as buying ammunition online and illegally buying guns.

Authorities accuse Gotta of sexually abusing the boy, who was a member of one of his parishes, beginning when the youngster was 16. They say Gotta employed the teenager at both of his parishes doing odd jobs.

The boy told police he believed he was there to keep Gotta company because the $2,000 to $3,000 a month the priest paid him exceeded the value of his nominal work, according to the arrest warrant.

Gotta allegedly threatened the teenager with certain tasks if he wanted to keep his job. He asked the youngster to perform sexual acts on him and gave him sacramental wine to drink on occasion, the affidavit said.

The boy said he experienced pain from what he believed was sexual abuse and that he had his father drive him to a hospital emergency room.

The teenager was arrested last summer on state firearms charges, and Gotta was arrested on federal firearms charges. The teenager eventually came forward about the sexual abuse.

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Information from: Journal Inquirer, http://www.journalinquirer.com

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