(Photo Credits: Screengrab from CBS Los Angeles’s YouTube Account)

Ed Buck, a wealthy American political activist dubbed by the media as a “donor to the Democratic Party” was arrested this Tuesday and charged with “three counts of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine, and maintaining a drug house,” The Cut reports. Prosecutors called Buck a “violent sexual predator who preys on men struggling with drug addiction and homelessness.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva revealed in an interview with Los Angeles Times that they been “closely monitoring” Buck ever since two African American men died in his apartment. 

Two years prior, Gemmel Moore—26, a homeless black gay escort—reportedly died of methamphetamine overdose in Buck’s home. But Moore‘s death was classified as an accidental overdose and the Los Angeles County District Attorney did not file charges against Buck citing insufficient evidence that “Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.” 

Fast forward to January of this year, another black gay man named Timothy Dean died at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. Dean—55 years old and a fashion consultant—died in a similar, suspicious manner as Moore and still, no charges were filed up until this week. 

According to authorities, an unidentified man referred to as Victim 10 in the court papers had overdosed on September 11 in Buck’s home but Buck “refused to call an ambulance.” He then left Buck’s apartment and it was only then that he was able to get help from 911 thanks to a passerby. The 37-year-old victim survived and it was his statement that proved instrumental to Buck’s arrest. 

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said to the Los Angeles Times, “The surviving victim’s statements gave us the break we needed.”

The deaths of the men sparked outrage, controversy, and allegations that Buck has “a fetish for drugging sex workers.” Buck, they say, has at least 10 known victims; read their stories here.  

For others, Ed Buck’s story had brought to light the “larger issue of money, power and race” and the issue of substance abuse and addiction in the LGBT community.

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