Federal prosecutors have taken the first serious steps toward stopping Democratic donor Ed Buck’s predatory behavior.
A five-count indictment was issued by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, charging him with responsibility in the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean and for supplying meth to three other men.
The man who once ran for West Hollywood City Council in 2007 and championed for Arizona Governor Evan Mecham’s impeachment in the 1980s became known as “Dr. Kevorkian” in the last decade among the local LGBTQ and homeless communities. Investigators now acknowledge that Buck has tied down and injected several individuals with meth or an unknown drug and had at least 10 victims.
In addition to the indictment, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office also filed new charges against him, less than six months after District Attorney Jackie Lacey declined to file charges. After the Los Angeles Sheriff’s and U.S. Attorney’s Offices continued the investigation this spring, Buck now faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life imprisonment if convicted on all federal charges. Lacey’s office now claims that the federal indictment allows them to submit evidence into their case that would have previously been inadmissible.
Buck, 65, is being held without bail. The former AIDS and animal rights activist also been evicted from his home where several of the crimes are alleged to have taken place. His next appearance in court will be his arraignment on October 10.
Once Moore was found dead in Buck’s home on July 27, 2017, activists and local organizers began to raise awareness about Buck’s predatory ways in the community. He became known for luring escorts, homeless people and younger men with money to come to his home and allow him to party and play – have sex while consuming drugs – with him. Several people reported that they felt nauseous or lose control afterwards, and that Buck would convince them not to resist him, refusing to call ambulances or police once they felt unsafe. He relied on using gay social media sites and even a recruiter to procure men to his home.
Timothy Dean’s death in January raised even more alarms, but authorities were still slow to investigate Buck. Finally, after a third publicized overdose came to light, Buck was arrested and sent to state prison on September 11, 2019, where he remains.
Many feared that Buck would never face repercussions for his actions due to the money he contributed to Democratic politicians. The former Republican has donated in the 6 figure range to California Governor Gavin Newsom and U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, among others. In recent months, however, Democrats distanced themselves from him and Lieu even donated Buck’s contribution elsewhere.
Democratic U.S. Representative Karen Bass said last month regarding Buck’s arrest: “It’s incomprehensible to me that it took a third black gay man to be attacked and almost die to finally dissolve the unconscionable apathy that has allowed Ed Buck, a racist sexual predator, to roam free. Everyone knew that he preyed on young black men.”