Pugh appeals order to pay DPS student $250K in damages

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Former Detroit City Council president Charles Pugh is appealing a judge’s order that he must pay $250,000 to a former Detroit Public Schools student who accused Pugh of offering cash for oral sex.

Pugh, who was convicted in federal court of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress in a civil case brought by the student, filed his appeal with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday.

In December, U.S. District Judge David Lawson ordered Pugh to pay the student, after Pugh had argued in an earlier court filing that he does not have to pay his victim because DPS agreed to settle with the former high school student for $350,000.

As part of the case, the federal court jury had ordered Pugh to pay $250,000 to the victim, who claimed Pugh offered him money in exchange for a sex video while he was a high school student in Pugh’s mentorship program at DPS. The victim also claims Pugh offered cash for oral sex after spending a year grooming the student during the program.

A week earlier, Detroit Public Schools agreed to pay the victim $350,000 to settle its portion of the lawsuit, making the total award $600,000.

In a Nov. 13 brief, Pugh’s attorney argued the former DPS student is entitled to recover only one award from his claims, citing a single-injury rule in Michigan.

The young man, now 20, met Pugh in the Charles Pugh Leadership Academy program at DPS in 2012 when he was 17 and Pugh was council president.

Marc A. Deldin, Pugh’s attorney, did not return calls for comment.