Student gets $350K in DPS settlement; Pugh lawsuit ramps up

UPDATE: The family of a teen who sued Detroit Public Schools reached a settlement for $350,000. 

A source within DPS has confirmed the amount, although the the family was originally seeking $1 million in damages.

While a former student's federal lawsuit against Detroit Public Schools appears to have ended, his suit with Charles Pugh is just getting started.

On the second day of court, DPS announced a settlement with a former student suing them in federal court.

The teen is alleging Pugh tried to turn him into a prostitute. Wednesday was the first day of Pugh's civil sexting trial.

Pugh lives in New York after fleeing the state and his post in city government, was not present Wednesday in federal court.  He instead gave his testimony through a pre-recorded video deposition.

In it, he is grilled by the plaintiff’s attorney, asking Pugh to read aloud text messages exchanged with the student Pugh mentored. The texts go on for days, with Pugh pressuring the student to make him pornographic videos. In exchange he offers money the student needed to take his girlfriend to prom.

After he is sent a video clip, Pugh texted:

"Truth is, I've had a crush on you all year! Just couldn't say or do anything about it till now."

A lawyer asks Pugh, "Are you telling the truth in these texts?"

Pugh responds, "I don't know."

Pugh met the student through his mentorship program at Frederick Douglass Academy when he was 17. He started sending the explicit texts soon after his 18th birthday.

Pugh dodged many direct yes or no questions about his relationship with the students many times claiming, "I don't remember."

While Pugh's portion of the trial will continue, the suit against DPS has ended with the tentative agreement struck with the teen.

DPS released a statement regarding the settlement, saying:

"Detroit Public Schools has reached a tentative agreement under which DPS and all defendants related to the District will be dismissed. The terms of the agreement will remain confidential until it is finalized by the parties involved."
 

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