Charles Pugh pleads guilty to 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct

Former Detroit City Council president could face up to 15 years in prison

DETROIT - Former Detroit City Council president Charles Pugh pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct. 

Pugh, 45, could face a sentence of 5 and 1/2 to 15 years in prison. The plea deal helped Pugh avoid a possible life sentence. 

READCharles Pugh's damaging fall from grace

He originally was charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was arrested this summer in New York, where he has lived since 2013. He is being lodged at the Wayne County Jail. His bail was set at $500,000 cash. His trial would have been Nov. 7.

Judge Thomas Cameron denied a defense motion earlier this month to quash and a motion regarding to a statute of limitations violation argument. He also heard several other pretrial motions.

Local 4 Special: The rise and fall of Charles Pugh

Pugh was elected to Detroit’s City Council in 2009, but quit in 2013.

According to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Pugh engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with a 14-year-old boy in 2003 when Pugh was a reporter and anchor at WJBK-TV. The two met when the then-teen inquired about an internship at the television station. The boy didn’t intern at the station but was invited to Pugh’s Detroit apartment several times, and the two had contact by phone and text messages, prosecutors said.

TIMELINE: Charles Pugh criminal sexual conduct case

The complainant is now 27 years old.

“It is alleged that Pugh had inappropriate sexual contact with the complainant at his home in Detroit from September 2003 through May 2004,” the prosecutor’s office said. “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 was arrested in New York and extradited back to Michigan, where he was arraigned in Wayne County. 

Local 4's Guy Gordon spoke to Pugh's victim. Hear what he has to say on Local 4 News at 6 p.m.

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