DETROIT (WWJ) – Former television anchor and Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh will be in a Detroit courtroom Friday morning.
Pugh will face a judge at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in a final conference before his scheduled trial on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
“Today will likely be procedural and no testimony will be taken,” said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton. “Of course, if there is a plea, that could be possible today.”
In August, Pugh was bound over for trial on accusations he had sexual conduct with a boy who was 14- and 15-years-old from September 2003 to May 2004.
It’s alleged that the victim met Pugh when he went to Fox 2 studios, where Pugh was working as a reporter and news anchor, with a theater group to perform. Their relationship ended up involving sex tapes, meals at swanky Detroit establishments, a cameo appearance by former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and full-on sex between the teen and Pugh, the now 27-year-old victim testified.
Langton said he wouldn’t be surprised if Pugh takes a deal in the case.
“You have to consider it. The complaining witness testified fairly credibly that he had sex with Charles Pugh. And so I would say that there’s going to have to be some kind of talk about a plea. I think there will be an offer. We’ll have to see, though.”
If convicted as charged, Pugh faces up to life in prison. He remains jailed on $150,000 bond.
The charges are unrelated to another sexual grooming case involving a 17-year-old who sued and collected $250,000 from Pugh. The young man said Pugh made sexual advances while serving as a mentor at Douglass Academy in 2012. The lawsuit claimed Pugh was given extraordinary access to boys, and that the school didn’t do enough to protect students. The Detroit school district settled for $350,000.
Pugh was not charged criminally in that case. He abruptly quit city government in 2013 and moved to New York when allegations surfaced, later saying he was embarrassed. He was extradited back to Detroit in July to face charges in the present case.