Activist and Democratic donor Ed Buck was hit with criminal charges in connection with the overdose of a third man at his West Hollywood home, with prosecutors calling him a “malevolent” predator who gets off on giving vulnerable sexual partners dangerous amounts of drugs.
“The defendant’s predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped,” Los Angeles prosecutors wrote in a request to the court for high bail.
“From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes. These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims.”
Buck, 65, is a retired entrepreneur who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to political action groups and local and national politicians. He has long faced allegations of drugging young black men for sexual pleasure. Two of those men died of overdoses in his home in 2017 and 2018, but charges were never brought against him.
That changed Tuesday night when Buck was arrested on connection with the overdose of a third man who narrowly survived his encounter with the wealthy West Hollywood resident—and a syringe of methamphetamine.
According to court papers, the victim, identified only as Joe Doe, visited Buck’s apartment on Sept. 4, where Buck gave him a large dose of methamphetamine.
Fearing he was overdosing, the victim fled the apartment to get medical help. A week later, he returned to Buck’s home, and Buck allegedly injected two doses this time—and the man began to overdose again.
“Buck refused to render aid to Doe, but rather thwarted Doe’s attempts to get help,” prosecutors wrote. The man managed to leave and called 911 from a gas station they said.
“Buck is clearly a predator with no regard for human life. His behavior is malicious and beyond reckless,” they said, adding that he preys on men who are drug abusers or homeless, using “bait” of narcotics, money or shelter.
Prosecutors revealed that police found hundreds of photographs of men in compromising positions when they searched Buck’s home. “It is only a matter of time before another one of these vulnerable young men dies of an overdose,” they wrote.
They are seeking $4 million bail for Buck, who was charged with battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine, and maintaining a drug house.
Buck’s attorney did not return calls for comment but in the past has denied that his client caused any harm.
Buck is already facing a wrongful death lawsuit by the mother of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old black man who died in Buck’s apartment on July 27, 2017, surrounded by drug paraphernalia, according to court papers.
The suit says Buck solicited Moore for sex and insisted he inject him with crystal meth. In Moore’s last journal entry, dated Dec. 3, 2016, he wrote, “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation into Moore’s death, but District Attorney Jackie Lacey declined to file criminal charges, prompting Moore’s family to name the DA as a co-defendant in the lawsuit.
In January, Timothy Dean, another gay black man, died at Buck’s home—on a mattress littered with drug paraphernalia and sex toys, according to a coroner’s report.
Buck claimed that Dean had been acting bizarrely before he left him to take a shower and that he was unconscious when he returned. He told investigators he performed CPR on Dean for 15 minutes before calling paramedics, the coroner’s report said.
In their court filing, prosecutors said Buck’s “aggressive and malevolent behavior” led to Moore’s and Dean’s deaths but did not explain why he had never been charged with a crime for them.
Jasmyne Cannick, an activist who has been working with Moore’s family, rushed to Buck’s home when she heard the news of his arrest.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed right now,”she tweeted from the scene. “This has been two years of my life fighting for this man to be arrested.”
“Being able to call Gemmel’s mother and Timothy’s sister and tell them that Ed Buck had been arrested was such a great feeling. Finally! To share some good news. We’re not there yet but we’re getting there.”