Defense attorneys for Democrat megadonor Ed Buck want his convictions for providing the drugs that killed two men in his West Hollywood apartment overturned. Buck’s attorneys are arguing that the government “kink-shamed” the defendant by pointing the jury toward his sexual fetishes in an effort to obscure the lack of proof supporting the charges, according to documents obtained Friday by City News Service.
An attorney for Buck wrote that the two men, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, suffered multiple underlying medical conditions that caused their deaths, not the methamphetamine they ingested. Buck’s attorney later called for the conviction to be overturned, arguing that “kink shaming” resulted in the conviction. Not drug distribution evidence, but “prejudicial and irrelevant character evidence, which included a concerted effort to kink-shame Mr. Buck by presenting graphic images and videos of his sexual fetishes,” led to Buck’s conviction, argued defense attorney Mark J. Werksman.
Last July, a federal jury found Buck guilty of nine felony counts he was facing in connection with the drug overdose deaths. The prosecution presented evidence that Buck engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that he provided and perform sexual activities at his apartment. In these sessions, Buck distributed drugs, including methamphetamine. In some instances, Buck injected victims with drugs without their knowledge.
Evidence including photos and survivors’ testimony detailing the drugs-and-sex sessions caused some spectators to look away or leave the courtroom, according to My News L.A. Another victim said Buck would “feed off the energy” of his victims. Buck was ultimately convicted of two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death, stemming from the deaths of Moore in July 2017 and Dean in January 2019.
Ed Buck is a former political donor who gave over $500,000 to prominent Democrats. A hearing to discuss the acquittal motion is scheduled for March 28, with sentencing expected one week later. Buck faces between 20 years to life in federal prison.