We’re going to pretend nothing happened? Charles Pugh to return to airwaves

Mar 17, 2022 at 2:40 pm
Foolish, Shanie D, Reggie Reg, Coco, and Charles Pugh join forces to form the Grown Folk Radio network. - Reggie Reg/Instagram
Reggie Reg/Instagram
Foolish, Shanie D, Reggie Reg, Coco, and Charles Pugh join forces to form the Grown Folk Radio network.

When disgraced former city council president and news anchor Charles Pugh was released from prison, it seemed to have happened rather quietly.

Pugh was released this past December after serving five years for having sex with a 14-year-old boy. Prior to his release, Pugh told the Detroit Free Press that he regretted what he did.

“What I did was wrong,” Pugh told the Free Press. “It is something that is indefensible. It was wrong and I shouldn’t have done it.”

While some would guess that Pugh would try to keep a low profile and fade to the background, quite the opposite is true.

Three months after his release from prison, Pugh has joined a team of familiar Detroit radio voices to create a new internet radio station.

Reggie Reg, Coco, Foolish, Shanie D, and Charles Pugh will form the Grown Folks Radio Network.

Reggie Reg is one of a few who has publicly supported Pugh throughout his time in prison. According to Fox 2 Detroit, he was the only person to visit Pugh during his five-year sentence, and he told the news station back in December he hopes others will support Pugh’s return.

"We need to come together and stand strong with our families,” Reggie Reg told Fox 2.

An interesting take considering the magnitude of Pugh’s crimes. Reggie Reg’s statement disregards the survivors and families of survivors who suffered at the hands of Pugh.

In 2013, Pugh was accused of making sexual advances toward a 17-year-old Detroit Public Schools student he mentored through a program he ran. The student alleged that Pugh offered him cash in exchange for sex.

Once the allegations became public, Pugh left town without a trace. He was spotted in Seattle and later seemed to settle in New York City.

While Pugh was living a new life in NYC, court documents two years later revealed another former DPS student submitted a written affidavit stating that he began a relationship with Pugh.

Nathaniel Hill was 14 when he had been hired as Pugh’s intern and personal assistant. According to Hill’s written affidavit, their working relationship evolved into a sexual relationship, and he even described the ways Pugh casually displayed pornography around him.

“During my employment with Mr. Pugh, I was in his home frequently. On several occasions pornographic videos were on the computer screen while I was present,” wrote Hill in the affidavit. “It was not unusual for me to come into a room and find pornographic material on Mr. Pugh’s computer and talk to him while the material was visible. Pornography was a frequent backdrop to activities at Mr. Pugh’s home when I was there. Many of the actors in the pornography videos were very young and appeared to be adolescent or very young adults. Some videos depicted group sex. All of the pornography was gay pornography.”

While the initial allegations found Pugh facing civil charges, Hill’s affidavit upped the ante and found him with a new set of felony charges.

Pugh took a plea deal, pleading guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and was sentenced to 5 ½ to 15 years in prison. On Dec. 22, 2021, the minimum date in his sentencing, Pugh was released from prison just before the holidays.

Conditions of his release include no contact with a minor without permission, registering as a sex offender, and wearing a tether for at least six months. Pugh will remain on parole for two years.

On Jan. 19, Reggie Reg, Coco, Foolish, and Shanie D all shared what might’ve been the first public photo of Charles Pugh since his release from prison. Standing together, the group was all smiles as they teased they were working on something special and coming back to the airwaves soon.

Comments on several of their posts offered words of encouragement, congratulations, and scripture, many excited to see the return of Detroit’s golden voices of radio.

One commenter wrote on a video of Pugh shared to Reggie Reg’s Facebook:

“All the best to you. Second chances are God's gift. Do well sir. Be great.”

While second chances are indeed a gift, is it one Pugh deserves so easily? The survivors of his manipulation and molestation were offered a second chance at life when Pugh was convicted of his crimes. However, the glee to which he has returned strips his survivors of the life they finally received as he is back in the limelight, three months after his release, being paraded as if nothing happened.

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