DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a teenager who says Pugh made sexual advances toward him.
Pugh made a filing Monday in federal court, denying allegations made by the teen. The filing says he’s representing himself in the case.
A complaint filed in June says Pugh sent suggestive texts and spent money on the teen as part of a sexual grooming plan. The boy’s lawyer, Bill Seikaly, has said that Detroit Public Schools failed to protect his client from Pugh, who met the teen through a mentoring program at Frederick Douglass High School.
A police report unveiled in December said sexually explicit text messages and a video were exchanged between Pugh and the teen, who was 17-years-old when he initially met Pugh, the city’s first openly gay elected official.
“I wanna see your body. Front and back. So the video has to show everything,” one message reads. “I pay MORE for solos lol. $125 for solos and $150 if u shoot the vid over here lol,” said another text message.
One message seems to imply he knew what he was doing was wrong: “If anyone finds out about this, I’m dead. Erase these messages,” Pugh allegedly told the teen.
Police in Madison Heights had sought a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge against Pugh, but a prosecutor determined there wasn’t enough evidence to take the case to court.
By the time the teen’s family filed a police complaint against Pugh in late June, the popular councilman and former television news reporter had stopped attending council sessions and virtually vanished from Detroit. State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr denied Pugh’s request for a medical-related leave of absence and stripped him of his pay and title as president.
Pugh, 42, officially resigned in September and has since been living in New York.
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