Former Detroit City Council president responds to federal lawsuit

Charles Pugh denies sexual allegations made by teen

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - Disgraced former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh submitted his responses to a federal lawsuit claiming he tried to manipulate a teenager he mentored at a Detroit Public School high school into having sex with him.

In the brief, the response shows Pugh is acting as his own attorney. He submitted his responses to the charges and denies the serious accusations.

One of the claims in the lawsuit is that Pugh told the student at Frederick Douglass Academy he would give him $160 if the student would give Pugh a video showing the teen masturbating. The teen claims he did what Pugh asked and in return Pugh gave him the cash -- a claim Pugh denies.

In addition, Pugh will neither admit nor deny he took the teen off campus to shop for clothes and a phone.

Pugh was never criminally charged in the case. The prosecutor found no crime had been committed and said that when the video was made the student was 18 years old.

Pugh's now being sued civilly in federal court.

Special Section: Charles Pugh investigation

Top drawer Defense Attorney Todd Flood, who has considerable federal trial experience, said just because the criminal charges went nowhere doesn't mean the case is going nowhere.

"The criminal prosecution is a much higher standard," Flood said. "This case is about a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower standard."

Flood said the discovery process in this case "will be voluminous."

The plaintiff's attorney will be looking for Pugh's assets and whether there are other young men who have made similar claims about Pugh.

Flood said the defendant in a federal trial like this will see a six-figure bill for a defense.

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