Religions and Spirituality

Priest Arrested for Possession of Child Porn with Holy Spirit Church in Union Since August

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Kevin A. Gugliotta, most recently of Holy Spirit Church in Union, was arrested for possession of child porn. Credits: Courtesy of Ocean County Jail
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UNION, NJ - Father Kevin Gugliotta, the Union priest arrested for possession and distribution of child pornography, only served the parishioners of Holy Spirit Church in Union since August, 2016. He was pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mahwah from May 2015 - August 2016, according to his LinkedIn page.  Earlier, he served at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church in Scotch Plains for several years as a youth minister. 

A criminal docket from a Wayne County, PA. magisterial court listed 20 allegations against the priest for possession and distribution of photographs or video of children in sex acts, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press. The activities allegedly took place on Gulgiotta's personal computer at his vacation home in Pennsylvania. He awaits extradition from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. 

There has been no public statement from Holy Spirit Church.

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In a notice to parishioners of St. Bartholomew Church, in Scotch Plains, Fr. John Paladino, Pastor and Fr. David Santos, Parochial Vicar, wrote:

Please know that during his time with us at St. Bartholomew no one ever alleged any such conduct by Fr. Kevin. Along with the Archdiocese of Newark, we take very seriously any and all complaints of sexual misconduct.  Aware that Fr. Kevin has served this community for several years, this news is devastating to our families. With that in mind, we assure you of our presence and prayers during these difficult days.

The Archdiocese of Newark removed Gugliotta, 54, from his ministry at Holy Spirit Church. James Goodness, vice-chancellor and director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Newark issued a statement on Wednesday. In part, it read:

Upon learning this information, Archbishop John J. Myers immediately removed Father Gugliotta from ministry, and ordered him to vacate his most recent parish assignment and keep the Archdiocese and law enforcement informed of his whereabouts while the authorities in Pennsylvania continued developing their case. 

The Archdiocese has maintained regular contact with the authorities in Pennsylvania while this matter has developed during their investigation, but deferred making any preliminary statement about any arrest of Father Gugliotta so as not to affect or interfere in any way with the actions of law enforcement resulting from the investigation.

As the Wayne County PA District Attorney reminds in a statement issued today concerning the arrest, it is important to remember that the American system of justice assumes the presumption of innocence of the accused. This is a serious and difficult matter that must proceed, as required, through the court process of the State of Pennsylvania. As a result, the Archdiocese is not in a position to discuss the details of Father Gugliotta’s situation at this time.

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