Former East Windsor priest pleads guilty to lesser charge in sex assault case

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HARTFORD  — Prosecutors have dropped the most serious charges against a former East Windsor priest accused of sexually assaulting a teenager.

Paul Gotta was facing charges of second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree sexual assault. Authorities say Gotta sexually assaulted the 16-year-old boy between January 2012 and February 2013.

The Hartford Courant reports  prosecutors offered Gotta a deal to plead guilty to second-degree breach of peace. He pleaded Wednesday under the Alford doctrine. That means he didn’t agree with the state’s evidence but wanted to plead to a lesser charge instead of risking a trial and a greater sentence.

He was sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence and two years of conditional discharge.

Prosecutors cited a ruling by a judge to exclude some evidence as one of the reasons for the offer.