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November 1, 2012

Sentencing delayed for sex abuser

EBENSBURG — Judge Linda Fleming on Thursday delayed the sentencing of a convicted child sex abuser until the defense provides her with information on its request for the taxpayers to pay for a defense expert.

The expert would present an opinion on whether Patrick Leroy Rugg is a violent sexual predator under Megan’s law.

Rugg, 33, was convicted by a county jury in June of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy during incidents in Cambria and Armstrong counties.

Rugg has been represented by Altoona attorney Thomas Dickey, who said that the defendant has exhausted his financial resources to hire an expert.

Fleming said she wants information within 30 days about a foreclosure action on a property Rugg owns and whether he has any equity in it. She also asked Dickey to supply the name of an expert and the amount of the fee.

No new sentencing date has been set.

Because of Rugg’s conviction on the sex offense, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, Fleming ordered that he be examined by a psychologist from the state sexual offender assessment board.

Although the psychologist’s findings have not been released, a defendant has the right to have his own expert to challenge the findings

The judge then would make a decision on whether Rugg meets the criteria to be considered a violent sexual predator.

That designation means stiffer sentences for repeat offenders and lifetime registration of his address with the state police.

Rugg was charged by Ebensburg police in connection with four incidents in 2009 and 2010.

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