Former Detroit city council president and FOX 2 anchor Charles Pugh has been formally charged with sex crimes. He's accused of having sex with a teenage boy more than 10 years ago. Now he's being held on a $500,00 bond.
Sitting quietly, Pugh wore a beige prison jumpsuit replacing his usual business attire in Detroit Tuesday. As a judge listed off six counts of criminal sexual conduct against former FOX 2 anchor and city council president Charles Pugh.
Pugh was arraigned without an attorney, 44-year-old Pugh faces up to life in prison for having inappropriate sexual contact in 2003 and 2004 with a 14-year-old boy he met at FOX 2 when he was a morning anchor.
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"Charles Pugh, when he was at your station, when he was president of the Detroit city council, he was a charismatic guy, people wanted to be around him," said Bill Seikaly, attorney.
Prosecutors on Tuesday stressed the fact that Pugh was arrested in New York last month where he was living and working as a server.
"There's no other way to say it," said Danielle Bennetts, assistant Wayne County prosecutor. "It was a secretive departure when he left three years ago, never to return."
She asked the judge to set a high bond or deny it all together.
"It was Mr. Pugh's own words in a deposition," Bennetts said. "Regarding him leaving the state of Michigan. He left because he was embarrassed."
The judge entering a not guilty plea on Pugh's behalf and ordering Pugh to have no contact with his accuser, now 27 years old.
The victim coming forward after learning of a civil case against Pugh where that victim recently was awarded $250,000.
"We had three victims testify just in our case," Seikaly said. "We have spoken with many more victims who did not want to testify. This young man demonstrated incredible courage coming forward after all these years."
Pugh is due back in court July 19 for his probably cause hearing.
"We've got to keep our eye on the perpetrator and not the victim," Seikaly said. "We've got to stop humiliating people who step forward."
"Just given what I know about charges Pugh and his history, there's no doubt in my mind this case will proceed to trial."