June 29, 2013 -- Criminal complaint filed against Pugh
Deano Ware, counsel for the complainants, issued this statement:
"As a result of the filing of this criminal complaint by our clients, the civil lawsuit which was to be filed on Monday, July 1st 2013 has been postponed. We wish to give the criminal authorities an opportunity to properly and thoroughly investigate the matters contained in our clients statements regarding Mr. Pugh. We will also be suspending all media appearances while this investigation is pending, other than those necessary to provide updates on developments in this matter. Now that this is a criminal matter, our clients request that you respect the privacy and confidentiality afforded them under the law in criminal proceedings such as these."
Pugh had been mentoring at the Detroit Public Schools' Douglass Academy for three years. The mother of one of the students claims Pugh bought her son clothes, gave him cash, took him off campus and bought him a cellphone, which has alleged text messages from Pugh on it.
July 1, 2013 -- Attorney claims Pugh 'seduced' teenager
A Metro Detroit attorney representing an 18-year-old man and his mother claimed Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh had an inappropriate relationship with a student at Douglass Academy.
The attorney said he would not provide copies of texts between Pugh and the teenager and was not willing to elaborate on what Pugh may have written to the teen. During a press conference he did, however, say Pugh took the student off campus in a city car and bought him gifts.
The lawsuit to be fields claims there was an inappropriate relationship between Pugh and the then 17-year-old he was mentoring. The mentorship program was run by Pugh and affiliated with the Douglass Academy.
The mother of the young man told the Local 4 Defenders she is disappointed with Pugh's behavior.
Attorneys representing the family compared this case to the Penn State sexual abuse investigation but refused to reveal an specific details about the alleged inappropriate conduct.
July 1, 2013 -- Pugh seen in Seattle
July 11, 2013 -- Pugh moves out of Detroit condo
A picture obtained by the Local 4 Defenders and taken early the morning of July 11 shows the garage at former Detroit City Council President Pugh's condo open with a car parked outside.
It is the first sign of any activity at Pugh's condo in weeks. Local 4 is told that overnight a moving truck was parked outside and there was a flurry of activity.
"A couple minutes go by and they were in the house and came back out, started loading a bunch of other stuff and a couple of other cars had showed up," a neighbor said. "I thought it was kind of odd because who moves his stuff out of a house at 1 o'clock in the morning?"
A group of five people spent the night moving Pugh's items into the truck and cars.
"I thought it was kind of ironic that there was no movement in that particular area and then all of the sudden there is people moving stuff out of the building," the neighbor said.
Aug. 28, 2013 -- Pugh found in New York City
A photo was taken of Charles Pugh at a New York City Starbucks on 125th Street in Harlem. The person who took the photo told Local 4 Pugh was with a young man.
Another Local 4 viewer, John Secor, took a picture of Pugh the previous weekend sitting on a bench in Central Park. Secor also approached Pugh, who was wearing a Yankees hat. He talked at length with him.
"I asked why he disappeared. I was aware of the allegations by the young man's mother, and (Pugh) flatly denied them," said Secor. "He said that the whole situation took a very serious toll on him."
Secor said Pugh was pleasant and willing to talk and he made it clear he is not interested in a career in politics or local TV anymore. Pugh is going down another path.
"He very much desires to go ... to live a quiet life," said Secor
Oct. 23, 2015 -- Pugh's former intern tells all in sworn affidavit
It was introduced into the federal case against the former Detroit City Council president and Detroit Public Schools. It set Pugh up as a porn-addicted predator who was actively looking for young boys.
Nathaniel Hill, 22, who was in prison for carjacking, was an intern, or personal assistant, when he was a teenager and Pugh worked at Fox 2. Hills also worked with Pugh through his tenure at City Council. Hill was called on to testify in the federal case which accuses Pugh of being a sexual predator and targeting a young boy he mentored at the Frederick Douglass Academy.
Hill's time spent with Pugh was before the allegations at the academy. He was essentially Pugh's gofer and, in the document below, he describes how he was often in Pugh's home.
"On several occasions, pornographic videos were on the computer screen while I was present. It was not unusual for me to come into the room and find pornographic material on Mr. Pugh's computer and talk to him while the material was visible. Pornography was a frequent backdrop to activities at Mr. Pugh's home when I was there," Hill says in the document.
When the allegations from the Frederick Douglass student came to light, Pugh resigned from City Council in disgrace and left Detroit in the middle of the night.
Nov. 10, 2015 -- Sexually explicit conversations revealed
Hundreds of text messages were exchanged between the 17-year-old accusers and Pugh. Many of the messages were sexually explicit.
Pugh wrote in one text message that he liked the teen.
Text message from Pugh to teen: "Truth is, I've had a crush on you all year!! I just couldn't say or do anything about it until now. I think u kinda knew though lol."
However, he seemed to have amnesia when asked about it in the deposition.
"I do not remember sending this text message," he said.
Then it became evident that Pugh had been busted.
Text message from teen to Pugh: "Everything between us has to stop. My mom knows what is up and it going to report you, don't text back."
Pugh's text message response: "Wow. Tell your mom to call me. We can work something out. This is crazy. I just wanted to help u :-("
The jury awarded $250,000 to Pugh's accuser. The jury found Pugh not liable for sexual harassment. However, the jury decided he did cause emotional distress for the teen and pressured him to create a sexual video. The jury also found Pugh liable of sexual battery.
Nov. 12, 2015 -- New accusers come forward
Detectives from the Detroit Police Department's special victims unit interviewed a new Charles Pugh accuser at length.
He filed a formal criminal sexual conduct complaint against Pugh. Police originally were contacted by the man's attorney who indicated a civil suit may be forthcoming, too. It's unclear whether he was underage at the time of the alleged contact or whether he was in Pugh's mentorship program.
Police sources told Local 4 another alleged Pugh contact called seeking guidance about his options.
Meanwhile, the attorney who successfully sued Pugh on behalf of his young client, who Pugh pursued when he was 18, said he thinks criminal charges are warranted in this case.
"I don't think that there's any question that he was guilty of solicitation and if for no other reason he should be prosecuted for that. He was offering my client money to allow him to perform sex acts on him. It's illegal," said attorney William Seikaly.
Pugh made it clear while speaking under oath that he still fears criminal prosecution.
"I'm gonna invoke my 5th Amendment rights," Pugh said multiple times during his deposition.
Seikaly was contacted by two new potential clients making similar claims. One of them was 16 at the time of the alleged contact, but he was not in Pugh's mentorship program. The statute of limitations has run out for a civil case but the accuser said he doesn't care, "(Pugh) shouldn't get away with this." He is weighing whether to go to police.
Seikaly predicted new accusers would step forward. He said there were more text messages from another accuser.
June 22 -- Pugh charged in criminal sexual conduct
The former Detroit City Council president was charged in a case dating back to 2003. He was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person 13 through 15 years old.
According to the 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.
The complainant is now 27 years old.
Pugh was arraigned on the out-of-state warrant in front of Judge Eugene Guarino. Pugh waived extradition and was remanded to custody.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's office said the charges are connected to Pugh's alleged sexually inappropriate behavior with a 14-year-old boy between September 2003 and May 2004. The complainant is 27 years old now.
From the Prosecutor's Office:
"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 his 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."
July 7 -- Pugh ordered back to Michigan
July 12 -- Pugh pleads not-guilty to CSC charges
Pugh was arraigned in a Detroit courtroom after being extradited from New York to face criminal sexual conduct charges.
A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf at his arraignment. His bail was set at $500,000 cash.
July 19 -- Judge recuses herself
Pugh was in court July 19, when Judge Shannon Holmes recused herself from the case because of a previous professional relationship with Pugh and her connection to the victim.
Holmes said she had worked with Pugh and knew the victim’s family. She said she felt that it would not impede her ability to be fair, but she didn’t want to give the appearance of bias.
The case was moved to Judge Deborah Langston’s courtroom.
Aug. 5 -- Pugh bound over to trial
The Wayne County prosecutor charged Pugh with three counts of criminal sexual conduct and three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The third count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct was dismissed.
His bond was set at $500,000 cash.
Oct. 14 -- Pugh returns to court for motion hearing
Pugh was in court for a motion hearing after he was bound over for trial in August on criminal sexual conduct charges.
Judge Thomas Cameron denied a defense motion to quash and a motion in regards to a statute of limitations violation argument. He also heard several other pretrial motions.
They are scheduled to be back in court later this month for another pretrial hearing.
Oct. 26 -- Pugh pleads
Former Detroit City Council president Charles Pugh pleaded guilty to 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct.
You can see more of the ClickOnDetroit and Local 4 News coverage of Pugh's case in the videos below.
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