DETROIT, MI – Former Detroit City Council President, Charles Pugh, was wanted on an arrest warrant that was issued on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2016. He has been arrested in New York on that warrant.
He was once a popular news anchor on FOX 2 Detroit. Pugh resigned from the station in March 2009 to pursue his political campaign. He won the most votes of any council candidate on election day, giving him the title of council president. Pugh, who came out as gay in 2004, was the city’s first openly gay elected official.
The life of Charles Pugh was quickly put under the political microscope. During his campaign, he acknowledged that he had been struggling financially and his home had been foreclosed upon. It was after he was elected to the City Council that the life that he was trying to uphold imploded.
Pugh became mired in a sex scandal with a 17-year-old student from his Charles Pugh Leadership Academy program in the Detroit Public Schools in 2012. The teen accused Pugh of offering cash for oral sex and a sex video.
In a very bizarre turn of events, it was shortly after the teens allegations surfaced that Charles Pugh fled from Detroit. Media tracked him down in New York City. He was found to be working in a restaurant as a waiter. Before leaving Detroit, Pugh did not have dignity enough to resign his position on the Detroit City Council.
The 17-year-old student filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against Charles Pugh and the school district. He settled for $350,000 from the district and $250,000 from Pugh. He has done everything not to pay the $250,000 judgement.
Charles Pugh has now been charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct in a case from nearly 13 years ago.
Pugh faces three counts each of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and third degree. The charges alleged that the incident or incidents took place in September 2003.
A recommendation was made on Wednesday in Wayne Circuit Court for Pugh’s arrest. The recommendation was granted.
On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016, Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy charged Charles Pugh, 44-years-old, of New York, in connection with sexually inappropriate behavior with a 14-year-old teenage male that occurred between September 2003 and May 2004.
The complainant is currently 27-years-old.
In June 2003, the 14-year-old Detroit teen met Pugh for the first time when he went to the Fox2 news station with a theater group to perform. At that time, Pugh was working as a reporter and anchor at the station. The complainant approached Pugh about an internship and they exchanged phone numbers.
The teen did not work as an intern at Fox2, but during the summer of 2003, at Pugh’s invitation, the teen went to Pugh’s Detroit apartment several times. Pugh and the complainant kept in touch by phone and text messages. It is alleged that Pugh had inappropriate sexual contact with the complainant at Pugh’s home in Detroit from September 2003 through May 2004. The complainant was 14 and 15 years of age at the time of the alleged contact.
The specific facts and evidence in the case will be presented in court at the preliminary examination.
Pugh has been charged with three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, or any term of years. He has also been charged with three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct Third Degree, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison.