Pimping, Pandering, and the Contrast Between Black & White in Los Angeles

Many people aren’t aware of criminal offenses that fall under the umbrella of “prostitution” such as pandering, a felony offense very similar to prostitution that can result in harsh punishment for those found guilty. Unfortunately, in Los Angeles it seems that when it comes to notoriety of victims getting the justice they deserve, there is a very obvious and decided line between black and white – and sexual orientation.. Unless you live “off the grid” or have been living under a rock in recent months, you’ve likely heard about all of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein – but what you may NOT have heard much about is the death of Gemmel Moore, a gay black man who was found dead in Ed Buck’s home this past summer. Buck is a white man who is reportedly gay, and a prominent donor to the Democratic party. Stories of victims who are mostly white women seem to be far more publicized and prominent in the media when it comes to alleged sexual crimes than those involving people of color or who are gay.

What are pimping and pandering, exactly? Pimping involves a person gaining financially from the prostitution of another individual or for locating clients for a prostitute, while pandering is a type of “recruiting” that is done when a person persuades, encourages, or induces someone to become a prostitute.

Ed Buck is a white man with financial means who allegedly has a long list of victims and has been called a sexual predator. Some of the stories black gay men have told (and provided evidence to support) involving Buck include forced drug use, kidnapping, the injection of crystal meth into unconscious victims, and filing false police reports in an effort to hide his criminal behavior which is said to include pimping, pandering, and coercion. Sadly, few of Buck’s alleged victims have received the media coverage and attention Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims have, but why? Likely it’s due to the color and/or sexual orientation of the victims.

Ed Buck’s exploits are no secret, and the talk among political circles has been ongoing for decades. While Weinstein’s crimes go back to the 90s, Democrats are reluctant to say anything about Buck or the death of Gemmel Moore at his home. White women are not shy about coming out and revealing their stories involving sexual abuse by Weinstein, but males who are reportedly gay, black and the victims of Buck fear that because of their color and sexual orientation, people won’t take them as seriously or view them as victims of a sexual predator in the same way Weinstein’s female victims are viewed.

Pimping and pandering are serious criminal charges, regardless of who commits them. For someone who is convicted of pimping, the consequences may include three to six years in prison if the prostitute is 16 years of age or older; for those younger than 16, the maximum prison sentence is eight years. The punishment is the same for pandering, and both are felony charges. A $5,000 fine may also be imposed for those found guilty – and prosecutors will vigorously pursue registration as a sex offender which results in lifelong restrictions and a stigma that follows the offender throughout his or her lifetime.

As with any crime, a person can be wrongly accused of pimping and/or pandering. There are countless individuals locked in prison cells today for crimes they did not commit, including sex-related offenses. It is vital to work with a highly skilled criminal defense attorney when facing allegations of pimping and pandering.

What are your thoughts on Weinstein and Buck, and how their alleged victims are perceived in the media and by the public?