On Tuesday, Ed Buck, a prominent Democratic donor and a “violent, dangerous sexual predator” according to Los Angeles County prosecutors, was arrested and charged with three counts of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine, and maintaining a drug house.
Since 2017, two gay black men — Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean — have died in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment of overdoses under suspicious circumstances. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office said that a third man had overdosed on September 11 in Buck’s home after he received “two dangerously large” injections of crystal meth. (The man, whose name has not been released, survived.) “With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement on Tuesday. Prosecutors added in court papers:
From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes [which] include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims … Not deterred by the senseless deaths of Moore and Dean, the defendant nearly killed a third victim last week.”
Prosecutors also state that Buck attempt to stifle his victim’s attempts to get help; he eventually made it out of the apartment on Laurel Avenue and called the authorities from a gas station. In Buck’s home, police found hundreds of photographs of men in what the Los Angeles Times calls “compromising positions” — a detail consistent with allegations in a lawsuit filed by LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore, which asserts Buck kept “revenge porn” in his home.
Moore was the first man to die in Buck’s home, overdosing in July 2017. A 26-year-old escort, Moore wrote that Buck “gave me my first injection of chrystal meth.” On Tuesday, prosecutors accused Buck of preying on Angelenos struggling with homelessness and addiction — a claim already levied by community activists. As Amanda Arnold at the Cut noted after the death of Timothy Dean:
Activists in the area say Buck has a history of preying on young black man and pressuring them into partaking in dangerous drug use. Jasmyne Cannick, a progressive Democrat who’s running for delegate in the 53rd Assembly District and has worked with Moore’s family, told the Cut in an email, “For two years, I have worked to bring forth witness after witness who told authorities about Ed Buck and how he uses the internet to stalk and prey on young, Black gay men who are usually homeless, HIV-positive and often work as male escorts.”
In late July 2018, prosecutors declined to file charges against Buck, citing insufficient evidence. Less than six months later, 55-year-old Timothy Dean was found dead from a methamphetamine overdose. “Had Buck been arrested and prosecuted in the death of Gemmel Moore, chances are he would not have been around to solicit and prey on vulnerable young black gay men,” Cannick said, responding to Dean’s passing.
Buck will appear in court on Wednesday for his arraignment; prosecutors are requesting that his bail be set at $4 million. If convicted for all three charges, he faces over five years in prison.