OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Democrat megadonor Ed Buck, who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and other Democrat candidates, was convicted of nine felonies on Tuesday over the fatal overdoses of two men during “party and play” encounters at his West Hollywood apartment.
Among the charges, Buck was convicted of included methamphetamine distribution, maintaining a drug den, and enticement to cross state lines to engage in prostitution.
The 66-year-old progressive activist and long-time fixture in West Hollywood politics are expected to spend the remainder of his life in prison as his two convictions for supplying the meth that resulted in death each carries a minimum sentence of 20 years.
Buck’s pursuit of dangerous, drug-fueled sexual activities led to the overdose deaths of two Black men in his apartment: Gemmel Moore, 26, in July 2017, and Timothy Dean, 55, in January 2019.
Buck’s activities carried on unabated until September 2019, when a third Black man nearly died of an overdose, which prompted Buck’s arrest.
The conviction happened four years to the day after Moore was found dead of a meth overdose in Buck’s apartment.
Crucially, Moore left diary entries and told people how Buck had turned him into a drug addict, provided him with drugs, and enjoyed watching him inject meth to the point of unconsciousness.
Despite all of the pre-existing evidence against Buck, then-Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacie failed to indict Buck, prompting accusations that the reluctance to take action by the authorities was due to his political ties with the Democratic Party.
The verdict concluded a two-week trial featuring testimony by men Buck hired to show off their bodies in underwear while high on methamphetamine and the party drug GHB, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The paper reports that the testimony, plus excerpts from explicit videos Buck had recorded of his drug-fueled sex parties “left spectators wincing at the trial.”
Videos at the trial showed Buck touching some of his victims sexually when they were asleep or unconscious.
The trial gave a platform to some of Buck’s victims, who was reportedly homeless and doing sex work to survive when Buck first invited them to his home.
One of his victims lived in a tent under a freeway overpass.
Buck paid the men extra cash if they agreed to let him inject them with methamphetamine, according to their testimony.
They said that Buck enjoyed seeing them get so high that they lost control.
The Advocate reports:
Prosecutors had tens of thousands of texts, voice mails, and videos that laid out Buck’s rampant drug use and his fetish for injecting Black men with hard drugs and then having sex with them, often when they were too high to consent.
Some of Buck’s victims — several of whom were homeless and just looking for a place to sleep for the night — wept on the witness stand and told the jury how Buck would also inject them without their approval, including when they were already unconscious. Buck’s racism was also on display to the jury with witnesses recounting his use of slurs and Blackface-type masks.
Buck’s defense, led by former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, had no real argument other than shaming the victims, arguing their drug use and sex work as well as their HIV-positive status were reasons to disbelieve them. It didn’t work.
Gay mega donor to Democrats, Ed Buck, has been convicted for giving meth to black male prostitutes who overdosed and died at his West Hollywood home. https://t.co/jB1JlAd9QD
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 28, 2021
“Ed Buck will never harm anyone else, and I thank God for that,” said Joyce Jackson, a family friend of Timothy Dean to the LA Times.
The LA Times reports that the delay in his arrest fueled protests by activists who accused local law enforcement of failing to investigate the politically influential Democratic Party megadonor and supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
Buck, who once ran for political office in West Hollywood’s City Council, donated more than $500,000 in campaign donations over the last twenty years, nearly all of which went to the Democrats.