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LeDuff: Pugh text scandal points to bigger problems at Detroit Public Schools

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Charles Pugh Charles Pugh
Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored. Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored.
Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored. Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored.
Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored. Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored.
Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored. Text messages allegedly sent from Charles Pugh to a teen student he had mentored.

By: Charlie LeDuff

FOX 2 has obtained a copy of the racy text messages allegedly sent by former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh to the student he had been mentoring at the time.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch the report from Fox 2's Charlie LeDuff, or read the story below
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"It's difficult for me to believe that there wasn't enough to charge him. ... I think anybody watching the news knows that Prosecutor (Kym) Worthy simply doesn't have the time or the money, given her funding and staffing problems, to pursue these cases," says William Seikaly, the student's attorney.

Even though the young man was 18 years old when Charles Pugh allegedly touched him, the accusation alone - plus the text messages, plus salacious photographs, plus Pugh's relationship to the kid as a mentor are enough to charge him with misdemeanor, criminal sexual conduct, according to the police and the young man's lawyer.

"There's no question in my mind, after reading these text messages, that that touching was of a sexual nature and intent. That's what you need for criminal sexual conduct for. If you then add on that the relationship began in the school system, I think it takes it out of the realm of possibilities," says Seikaly.

But apparently that's not enough for Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, who kicked the can last week and decided not to charge Charles Pugh. She reasoned that, at the time of the touching, the kid was 18 years old and that the texts were sent from Wayne County, making it their problem.

LeDuff reports Cooper has been dodging his phone calls over the last month, but he says it begs the question: If Pugh would have touched her in this way what she might have done.

Detroit Public School officials have some explaining to do because the young man's mother complained to school officials that Pugh was stalking to her son. LeDuff has obtained a copy of that email to prove it.

"I feel that he was luring my son with gifts, money, and promising him things, and that's luring. That's seducing," says the student's mother.

But Under the Freedom of Information Act DPS told LeDuff there was no record of a complaint from the mother. What's more, they say there's no record of an agreement between the Frederick Douglass Academy and Charles Pugh, where they were holding the mentoring program.

And finally DPS says there are no rules and regulations governing the mentoring program anywhere in the school system.

"The system fails our young people in schools, that we don't have the kinds of protections, checks and balances, that these kids deserve to have against predator adults who end up finding their way into the school system," says Seikaly.

LeDuff says the big question here in Detroit is this: Does anybody care about the well being of your children? Or do you turn your heads when a powerful man uses the classroom as a grooming patch?

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