The young man who was groomed by then-Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh was charged today with soliciting a prostitute in Florida, one of 39 men arrested in a prostitution sting in Polk County.
The young man, now 22, was charged with solicitation and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Because he is the alleged victim of a sex crime involving Pugh, we are not naming him.
As we first reported, he met Pugh when he was 17 through the Charles Pugh Leadership Forum, a mentorship program at Detroit Public Schools. When the student turned 18, Pugh began pressuring him into performing sex acts on camera in exchange for money.
In 2015, the young man successfully sued Pugh and Detroit Public Schools, alleging he was the victim of sexual harassment and battery, and suffered emotional distress.
"About 12% of individuals who themselves have a history of abuse are likely to go on and abuse others," said Dr. Joel Young, a staff psychiatrist at William Beaumont Hospital.
"Victims of predators don’t do well, they tend to have a higher rate of exploiting others and becoming involved in exploitive relationships," he said.
Today’s news was devastating, but not totally unexpected to the young man’s lawyer, Bill Seikaly, who we spoke with by phone.
"None of this should be surprising to anyone, especially in the way in which this young man was treated and abused, taught by Mr. Pugh," Seikaly said.
"These are the kinds of things that he was told, demonstrated to, that adults were supposed to do."
Contact 7 Investigator Ross Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (248) 827-9466.