Trial begins in civil case involving Pugh, former student

Charles Pugh.

DETROIT (AP) -- A civil trial is starting in federal court in Detroit, centering on a relationship a few years ago between a city council member and a teenager.

Charles Pugh and the Detroit school district are being sued by a former student who says his civil rights were violated. The lawsuit claims Pugh was given extraordinary access to boys who were being mentored at Douglass Academy in 2012.

Jury selection is scheduled for Tuesday, although Pugh doesn't plan to attend the trial.

The former student says that Pugh was grooming him for sexual advances. Pugh denies the allegations. Police say the two exchanged sexually explicit text messages.

Pugh resigned from the Detroit City Council in 2013. Months later, he was found living in New York and working at a restaurant.