• Massachusetts sex offender found living in Melbourne Veterans facility


    MELBOURNE, Fla. - A sex offender from Massachusetts is back in jail Thursday after he was taken into custody in Melbourne.

    Investigators said they believe Richard Ludwig, 52, had been living in Brevard County for the past two years.

    Authorities said a crime tip led them to a home on Swithin Lane, where Ludwig was living with a group of veterans.

    Ludwig was originally sentenced as a Level II sex offender in Massachusetts relating to a 2009 conviction of indecent assault and battery on a child.

    The investigation determined that in 2011, Ludwig cut off his ankle monitoring device and absconded from Massachusetts.

    Authorities said Ludwig had some brief contact with the sheriff's office back then when he started to register as a sex offender, but he then notified the sheriff's office that he would not be moving to central Florida.

    But deputies said that's exactly what Ludwig did and then he never registered as a sex offender.

    Neighbors never knew his history.

    “In my personal opinion, you violate a child that’s the worst offense there is, as far as I’m concerned,” said Ludwig’s neighbor Edward Gault.

    Sheriff’s deputies said even if Ludwig has registered as a sex offender, he never should have taken up residence at the facility.

    On Wednesday, deputies and the FBI took Ludwig into custody.

    While Massachusetts had a Failure to Register warrant on file for Ludwig, local investigators said his status was never entered into a national database.

    “They could fly under the radar under a period of time until we get them off the street,” said Maj. Tod Goodyear with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

    Following his arrest deputies also seized Ludwig’s computer which could result in more charges.

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