Top Democrat Donor Found Guilty of Drugging Male Prostitutes to Death
The federal jury convicted Ed Buck of all nine felony counts
Wealthy Democrat donor and political activist Ed Buck has been found guilty on charges of injecting gay men with methamphetamine in exchange for sexual intercourse, which led to two fatal overdoses.
Buck was convicted on all nine felony counts, which could lead to a life sentence.
The verdict comes four years after one of the victims died of an overdose in the West Hollywood Democrat's apartment.
After a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for more than four hours.
Buck contacted men on gay dating sites and provided drugs in return for various sordid sex acts, police say.
Buck had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Buck's defense lawyers argued neither fatal overdose victim died from meth, and many of the victims were drugs addicts.
Prosecutors said Buck exploited vulnerable men, offering them money and drugs to comes to his home in exchange for sex play to satisfy a fetish.
Many were involved in sex work to support their habit.
The defense argued all the men were at Buck’s apartment under their own will, and two deaths were not a result of a methamphetamine overdose.
“I know this has been an arduous, lengthy and difficult process,” U.S. District Judge Christine A. Snyder told jurors after she read the verdict, the Los Angeles Times reported.
After the jury was dismissed, one of the prosecutors dropped to her knees and wept in the courthouse hallway, the Times reported.
Buck gave over $500,000 in campaign contributions to the following Democrats:
Buck was also convicted of four counts of meth distribution, enticement to cross state lines for prostitution, and keeping a drug den.
“Ed Buck will never harm anyone else,” said Joyce Jackson, a sister of one of the deceased, “and I thank God for that.”
Neon Nettle reported earlier this month that before Buck’s arrest in 2019, he was hobnobbing with the nation’s top Democratic lawmakers while opening up his checkbook.
Former President Barack Obama also received donations from Buck.
Buck solicited mostly black men through a gay male dating site and even paid the airfare for two out-of-state participants.
Once they stepped into his apartment, a “party and play” scenario unfolded in which the men were expected to consume large amounts of drugs and perform sex acts, the memo said.