DETROIT (AP) — A former president of the Detroit City Council was ordered Friday to stand trial on charges of criminal sexual conduct involving a teen more than a decade ago.
Charles Pugh is facing five counts of sexual misconduct for allegations going back to 2003 and 2004, when he was a television journalist. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf at a hearing in July.
Pugh was elected to the council in 2009, and became president because he got the most votes. He quit in 2013 and left for New York as allegations in a separate case became public.
The alleged victim testified during the hearing Friday, saying he was under age 16 when he engaged in sex acts with Pugh. The now 27-year-old man said he met Pugh during a visit to WJBK-TV.
Judge Deborah Langston said there was enough evidence to send Pugh to trial in Wayne County Circuit Court. If Pugh is convicted on the charges, the sentence could run up to life in prison.
The judge called him a pedophile.
"Mr. Pugh took advantage of him knowing full well that this 14-year-old boy would do whatever he needed to do to you to please you," the judge said.
Defense attorney Delphia Burton said the man was hoping for a "payday," a reference to a possible lawsuit.
A jury last year awarded $250,000 to another young man who accused Pugh of sexually harassing him when he was a teenager.