A poker-playing Catholic priest in New Jersey has been stripped of his duties after being arrested Friday on charges of possessing and sharing images of child sexual abuse.

Kevin Gugliotta, 54, of Mahwah, is facing 20 counts of possession of child pornography and 20 counts of distributing child pornography.

The charges were filed by prosecutors in Wayne County in Pennsylvania, where Gugliotta kept a vacation home.

Investigators said they received reports that child porn had been uploaded to an internet chat room from an IP address that was traced to Gugliotta’s address.

Gugliotta had been assigned to the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Union Township after serving at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mahwah. He also worked at St. Barthololmew the Apostle in Scotch Plains.

Gugliotta also is a nationally ranked poker player, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, said church officials cooperated with investigators after police learned that Gugliotta was a priest in New Jersey.

“The Archdiocese of Newark takes very seriously any and all complaints of sexual misconduct by members of the clergy, religious and lay staff of the Archdiocese, its parishes and schools,” Goodness said in a prepared statement. “Anyone with knowledge of an act of sexual misconduct is encouraged to inform the Archdiocese immediately so that it may take appropriate action and provide support to the victim.”

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