DETROIT (WJBK) - A new judge has now been assigned to the Charles Pugh case after the initial one stepped down due to a conflict of interest.
The former Detroit city council president is facing charges of criminal sexual conduct involving an underage teen. Pugh, who was originally declared a flight risk, attempted to get his $500,000 bond lowered on Tuesday.
"He's not a flight risk," said his attorney. "The prosecutors, I believe, distorted the facts at the arraignment in terms of being a flight risk."
Ultimately the judge denied the request and decided to keep Pugh's bond at $500,000.
Judge Deborah Langston took over the case today after Judge Shannon Holmes recused herself, saying she has worked with Pugh and knows the victim's family and didn't want to give an appearance of bias.
"With respect to his work history, he worked at WJLB from 2004 to 2009 and also worked at FOX 2 for about 10 years, that ending in 2009, and then he worked as a councilman," his attorney said.
Pugh was arraigned on six counts of criminal sexual conduct last week and faces up to life in prison. He's accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy, beginning in 2003.
Prosecutors stressed Pugh cut his ties to Detroit when leaving three years ago calling his exit "secretive," because they say, the heat was on.
"There was another complainant who came forward with allegations. There was a pending civil suit, and then there was another young man who went to the police," said the prosecutor. "His colleagues, his family, his friends, the community woke up one day and he was gone and no one knew where he was."
Pugh's attorney argued that Pugh never severed ties with his family, referencing his arrest at his New York home was without incident.
"He did not cut all ties. He has relatives here and so the prosecutor acts like he just dropped off the face of the earth - he maintained contact with relatives," said Pugh's attorney.
His attorney also argued there was no legal obligation for Pugh to stay in Michigan and that if let out on bond, he could wear a tether and stay with his stepmother in the area.
But prosecutors stressed that Pugh doesn't have a job or a permanent residence and the charges he faces are steep.
He is due back in court for his preliminary exam on Aug. 5.