The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 31, 2013

Molester sentenced to 40-80 yrs.

EBENSBURG — A local man convicted last year by a Cambria County jury of repeatedly sexually molesting a boy was sentenced Tuesday to spend a minimum of the next four decades behind bars.

Patrick Rugg, 34, of Ebensburg, was sentenced by Judge Linda Fleming to 40 to 80 years in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Rugg has been housed in the Cambria County Prison since his June 27, 2012, conviction and will be moved to Camp Hill in Cumberland County for processing.

The defendant’s mother, Edna Close, told the court that she believes her son is innocent of the four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse along with charges of trafficking of persons, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and corruption of minors.

She asked that her son be housed at SCI-Somerset, a move Fleming said is out of her control.

Rugg did not speak at his sentencing because he continues to maintain his innocence and plans to appeal not only his conviction, but also his sentence, defense attorney Thomas Dickey said.

While the involuntary deviate sexual intercourse convictions each carry a mandatory 10-year sentence, Dickey urged the court to run the sentences concurrent because he feels Rugg can be rehabilitated.

“There are some appeal issues, some evidentiary issues during trial,” Dickey said following the sentencing. “He maintains his innocence. That’s why he didn’t speak.”

Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Tamara Bernstein said the sentence fit the time she was seeking.

“I’m pleased,” she said. “It’s been a long road for the victim in the case.

“The court listened to the jury with its verdict and the severity of the crime.”

The mother of the victim said only: “He got what we wanted.”

Fleming, who noted that Rugg did not address the court prior to his sentencing and express remorse, reminded him that during the trial there was one credible witness who observed the victimization.

“You must not admit you have a problem,” she told Rugg. “In terms of your rehabilitation, if you don’t acknowledge an issue, the possibility of any treatment is almost nonexistent.”

The abuse occurred in Ebensburg and Armstrong County in 2009 and 2010 when the boy, now 14, was 11.

The victim’s mother said Rugg was a longtime friend who she viewed as a father figure to her son.

The abuse by a trusted friend has created long-term issues for her son, including the need for psychological help over the past three years, she said.

“While he is finally getting back on track, he still has trust issues,” she said.

The trafficking conviction relates to Rugg’s transporting the boy from the Kittanning area back to Ebensburg for the purpose of having sex with him.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 17, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads