Prolific Democratic donor and LGBT advocate Ed Buck was sentenced for leading two men to their deaths by exploiting them for sex using hard drugs.
The one-time Clinton ally, 67, received 30 years in prison Thursday for his twisted acts, according to reports.
Democrat donor sentenced
Buck, who is gay, was arrested in 2019 in connection with the deaths of two Black men at his West Hollywood apartment. Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55, overdosed on meth 18 months apart.
The Democratic operative was arrested after another man nearly died following an encounter with Buck, who was convicted in July on nine counts.
In court, Buck’s lawyers claimed that the victims had consented to have sex with Buck and that they were “male prostitutes who were there to do drugs and have sex.”
But prosecutors said Buck would drug his victims until they were unconscious in order to assault them and that he deliberately took advantage of gay, homeless black men with drug problems to feed his depraved sexual appetite.
Judge Christina A. Snyder called Buck’s deeds “horrific” during a sentencing hearing on Thursday where she gave a nod to his role in animal rights and LGBT activism, which she said made the sentencing more difficult.
Obama, Clinton, Schiff ties
Snyder said that the deaths of Moore and Dean were not accidental, but Buck protested that he was not responsible for their fatal overdoses. He also said that he was sexually abused as a child, something the judge called a “mitigating circumstance.” Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence.
U.S. Attorney Tracy Wilkison said Buck “preyed upon vulnerable victims — men who were drug-dependent and often without homes — to feed an obsession that led to death and misery.”
The wealthy donor has given more than $500,000 to Democrats since the 2000s, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some of his beneficiaries include Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).
The Los Angeles Democratic party hailed Buck’s sentencing and credited it to pressure from activist groups like Black Lives Matter, who had previously accused the justice system of letting Buck go free because of white privilege.
“For our community, a predator with a Jekyll and Hyde personality is now off the streets,” the Los Angeles Democrats said.