Ed Buck, Democratic donor, charged in man's overdose at West Hollywood apartment

Two men have previously died of accidental drug overdoses at Ed Buck’s apartment, but he has not been criminally charged in those cases.

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By Andrew Blankstein and Phil Helsel

LOS ANGELES — Democratic activist and donor Ed Buck has been charged in connection with the drug overdose of a 37-year-old man who survived the incident earlier this month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Buck, 65, faces one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, the district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Buck is accused of injecting the man, who has not been publicly identified, with methamphetamine last week at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.

Prosecutors said in a bail motion that the victim nearly died and that Buck's "predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped."

A voice message and email left with an attorney who represented Buck earlier this year was not immediately returned Tuesday night. Buck was booked and jailed late Tuesday.

Two men have previously died of methamphetamine overdoses in Buck's apartment. Through attorney Seymour Amster, Buck has repeatedly denied having any role in the deaths, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Buck has not been criminally charged in either case. The family of one of the two men who died, Gemmel Moore, 26, has accused Buck of wrongful death in a lawsuit.

"We'll fight the allegations vigorously," Amster said earlier this year, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Buck is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, and prosecutors will seek bail of $4 million, according to the DA's office.

If convicted, he faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in prison.

In court documents related to the Sept. 11 overdose, prosecutors called Buck a “violent, dangerous sexual predator," who preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness.

"I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in Tuesday’s statement.

Moore died from a methamphetamine overdose at Buck’s apartment in July 2017, and Timothy Dean, 55, died in January. The overdoses in both cases were ruled accidental, officials have said.

Buck's attorney has said that Dean was a longtime friend who had asked to come to Buck's apartment, that Buck was reluctant but Dean was insistent, and that shortly after Dean arrived he began exhibiting bizarre behavior and Buck called 911.

Prosecutors referenced the deaths of both men on a statement of facts in court documents and said that "Buck's aggressive and malevolent behavior led to the deaths of two men in Buck’s apartment, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean."

Prosecutors alleged in the filing that Buck "manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual festishes," including personally administering large doses of dangerous narcotics.

They said accused Buck of administering meth on Sept. 4 to that victim, who left to get medical attention when he felt he was having an overdose. The man returned to Buck's apartment Sept. 11, officials said.

Prosecutors allege that last week, Buck personally injected "two dangerously large doses of methamphetamine" into that man and refused to help when the man began showing signs of an overdose.

The victim fled the apartment, called 911 from a nearby gas station and was taken to a hospital for treatment, the document filed by prosecutors states.