May 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Judge: Teen can sue Charles Pugh, not Detroit, over alleged conduct

Former Detroit Councilman Charles Pugh (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)

Detroit — A teen who says former Detroit Councilman Charles Pugh had an inappropriate relationship with him can pursue a lawsuit against him, but not the city, a judge has ruled.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes lifted a moratorium Tuesday on lawsuits against the city. The teen, identified in court filings as “K.S. Doe” can sue Pugh but not Detroit outside of the city’s bankruptcy case, the judge ruled.

Any damages against the city would be liquidated in bankruptcy court and treated as an unsecured claim.

“Outside of the city’s bankruptcy case, K.S. Doe may not collect, or attempt to collect, any funds from the city on account of the claim, the lawsuit or otherwise,” Rhodes ordered.

The teen’s attorney, Bill Seikaly, said the civil rights lawsuit would seek at least $1 million.

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper announced in December that Pugh would not face charges in connection with claims he had an inappropriate relationship with the teen, whom he once mentored at the Frederick Douglass Academy.

The teen and his mother filed a police report June 29 alleging Pugh had "inappropriate contact" with the teen. The boy's mother and attorneys have said the incident occurred in a Madison Heights parking lot between May 29 and May 31. Pugh and the teen met in September, when he was 17, they said.

Pugh, who moved to New York City after resigning last year, gave $160 and video games in exchange for a nude video by the 18-year-old, according to Madison Heights police.

Police obtained more than 100 pages of text messages between Pugh and the teen, sent last spring, many of which centered around him offering money for nude videos of the teen in sexual situations.

Pugh asked the teen not to tell anyone about their conversations several times in text message records.

"what we talk about is private. Becuz if I can really trust u then I really wanna help u ALOT. (Thru college and everything.) making sure you're never broke," Pugh wrote in one text at the end of May 2013. "And if u need other stuff (like a hideaway or a cool chill spot downtown) or if u just sick of everyone else and need a quiet place to just chill or hang or getaway. I got u, man. You'll always have money in your pocket."

The two even discussed what Pugh calls a "price structure" he had for nude videos.

"The good news is that. I pay MORE for solos lol. $125 for solos and $150 if u shoot the vid over here lol," one text says.

Tony Briscoe contributed
rsnell@detroitnews.com
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