Judge and repeat sex offender meet again

Four years ago, Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy sentenced repeat sex offender Patrick J. Ludwig to three years in prison after telling him he frightened her and was a danger to society incapable of controlling his impulses.

Ludwig went to prison, and while he was away, Handy was assigned to the Middlesex Judicial District for two years. On Tuesday, they were both back in New London Superior Court, and Handy, who routinely tells defendants they do not want to come back before her on a probation violation, was not happy to see Ludwig, 42, standing before her for an alleged sex-related violation. He was arrested in New Haven in August for allegedly soliciting a prostitute and attempting to rob her.

In the original or "underlying" case, Ludwig had raped a neighbor at his Waterford apartment complex after going to her apartment to help her with a heating problem. At the January 2008 sentencing, Handy said she agreed to the three-year sentence, followed by 10 years of strict probation and a lifetime listing on the sex offender registry, only to spare the victim from having to face Ludwig on the witness stand.

At the time, Ludwig was already a registered sex offender, having been convicted in 1990 of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

On Tuesday, with Ludwig standing before her once again in prison garb, the judge silently read the new charges, appointed Public Defender Bruce A. Sturman to represent Ludwig and continued the case to Oct. 16. Ludwig was returned to the New Haven Correctional Center, where he is being held in lieu of $300,000 bond.

In the Waterford case, Ludwig was also convicted of tampering with a witness. According to testimony, he had sent a letter to a church in Texas using the victim's return address. Addressed to the pastor, the letter purported to be a confession by the victim that she had wrongfully accused a man of rape.

In his new arrest warrant, the probation officer wrote that Ludwig had been discharged from sex offender treatment for not complying with the program. The officer also wrote that his arrest for soliciting a prostitute is "very disconcerting" and suggests an elevation in Ludwig's risk of re-offending.

According to New Haven police, Ludwig responded to the woman's ad on a website. They agreed he would pay her $200 for her services and met at a hotel. As he attempted to leave, he told her only had $30, according to the warrant. She became infuriated and sent her dog to attack him, the warrant says. She also called 911.

k.florin@theday.com

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