Convicted Former Cop Lashes Out At Accusers, Prosecutors - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/02/06-Jacksonville

Convicted Former Cop Lashes Out At Accusers, Prosecutors

Larry Pugh now says federal prosecutors were just trying to make an example of him.  The former Jacksonville police officer is headed to prison for at least a decade, after he pleaded guilty thursday to rights violations and retaliation.

Two women alleged he coerced them into sex while he was in uniform.  KLTV received an e-mail from Pugh.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson was prosecuting the case.

"He signed the factual resume. He swore under oath in court that he was guilty. If he's saying that none of that is true," he says and then shrugs.

Jackson was ready to take Pugh to trial.

"I would have gone in heartbeat.  Yes."

In Pugh's statement, he said, "The media has previously, and wrongly, reported that I was pulling over women and sexually assaulting them.  That does not resemble the accusations, or the truth."

Jackson says the victims' stories are clear.

"He came into the house where she was, arrested her, took them with her in the patrol car, sexually assaulted her, and brought her back.  In the other case, he stopped a woman walking down the street, offered her a courtesy ride, got her in the car, took her somewhere, sexually assaulted her, brought her back," he says.

Jackson says the victims were coerced into sex.  In the statement, pugh takes a shot at the women who came forward.

"My accusers, one and all, are crack-addicted prostitutes who will, undoubtedly, even after my eventual release, remain as such," Pugh writes. 

In the next sentence, Pugh writes, "My decision was based solely on the best interest and welfare of my family, particularly my four young children who will be teenagers upon my release. I chose this position because I was unwilling to place my trust into the judgment of 12 jurors who have been bombarded by news and media of my assumed guilt."

He also accuses prosecutors of investigating "until I bowed to the political pressure of the federal government to serve up an example."

Jackson says he hopes others will learn criminal behavior will be punished, even if the criminal is wearing a badge.

"I suppose that's one of the benefits of this, that [victims understand] the political system is interested if there are law enforcement officers who aren't enforcing the law," Jackson says.

Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 12 years, of which Pugh will have to serve a little over ten to be eligible for release.  And he could still face as-yet-undisclosed state charges soon.

Reported by Morgan Palmer, morganpalmer@kltv.com.

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