Although Ed Kramer pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of child molestation, the DragonCon co-founder insists he’s innocent of the charges that date back more than 13 years.
“He maintains his innocence on all charges,” hit attorney McNeill Stokes told reporters at the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Courthouse. District Attorney Danny Porter countered that the result remains the same: “If it made him feel better not to have to say ‘I did it,’ then what difference does that make in the end?”
Kramer, who was accused of molesting three teenage boys, entered an Alford plea, in which the defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there’s sufficient evidence that a judge or jury would likely find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The 52-year-old Kramer entered pleas on three of the six counts in the original indictment, one for each of the victims; the state agreed not to pursue the other charges.
Under the agreement, Kramer was sentenced to five years of house arrest for each count, to run concurrently. Because he was previously jailed in Connecticut and Georgia for 26 months, he’s left with 34 months. He also must pay $100,000 restitution to each of the victims. He will be a registered sex offender for life, and barred from interacting with anyone under the age of 16 — which includes involvement in any occupation that could put him in contact with minors. Kramer was previously involved in photography, videography and filmmaking, all of which are now off-limits to him.
DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer pleaded guilty this morning to child-molestation charges even as his long-delayed trial was set to get under way in Lawrenceville, Georgia. However, he won’t spend any additional time in jail.
The Gwinnett Daily Post reports the 50-year-old Kramer entered guilty pleas three of the six counts in the original indictment, one for each of the teenage boys; the state agreed not to pursue the other charges. Under the agreement, the district attorney recommended a 20-year sentence, with Kramer serving five years on each count, to run concurrently. Because Kramer was previously jailed in Connecticut and Georgia for 26 months, he’s left with 34 months — which will be served under house arrest.
That sentence, as the newspaper notes, is likely because of the myriad health problems Kramer claims to suffer. He also was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to each of the three victims by July 2014, and is prohibited from interacting with anyone under the age of 16.
If convicted, he had faced 25-year mandatory minimum sentences on each of the charges, with two aggravated counts potentially carrying life sentences.
Just ahead of Ed Kramer’s trial on 13-year-old child-molestation charges, DragonCon has announced a settlement that officially severs all ties with its litigious co-founder.
The board of the popular Atlanta sci-fi/fantasy convention revealed in July, amid a boycott effort, that it had offered to buy out Kramer’s shares in a merger — his attorney called it a “discriminatory squeeze-out” — in which a new company called Dragon Con Inc. absorbed the old DragonCon/Ace Inc. Kramer initially rejected the offer, which led the board to sue him in August; DragonCon spokesman Greg Euston told Atlanta magazine the out-of-court settlement calls for Kramer to be paid a “small amount over” what the company had offered.
Kramer, who helped found DragonCon a quarter-century ago, hasn’t been directly associated with the event since his arrest in August 2000 on charges of sexually abusing two teenage boys (a third later stepped forward). However, he continued to receive annual dividends from DragonCon — $154,000 for 2011 alone — after attempts to buy out Kramer’s stake in the for-profit corporation proved unsuccessful. He filed two lawsuits against co-founder Pat Henry and DragonCon/ACE, and rebuffed three previous offers to buy out his shares for $500,000, in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Thirteen years after his original arrest on child-molestation charges, DragonCon co-found Ed Kramer is at last heading to trial. Or, at least he has a trial date.
The Gwinnett (Georgia) Daily Post reports that following a two-and-a-half-hour hearing on Monday, Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers added the Kramer case to the judicial calendar for the weeks of Dec. 2 and 9 — and according to Kramer’s attorney McNeill Stokes, his client “wants to go to trial.”
Kramer was originally arrested on charges of molesting three teenage boys between 1996 and 2000, but the trial has been repeatedly delayed since his 2003 indictment through legal maneuverings and claims of declining health, which at one point apparently required the attention of 16 physicians. He was first released on bond in November 2000, less than three months after his arrest, but he was back in jail within days when a neighbor reported seeing a teenage boy enter his home.
Following claims of a January 2001 assault by a deputy, Kramer was placed on house arrest, an order later modified to permit travel between Georgia and New Jersey or New York to receive medical treatments and visit his ailing mother. Under the conditions of the bond, he was to report his weekly location and not have any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16. However, in September 2011, he was arrested in Connecticut after he allegedly was found alone in a hotel room with a 14-year-old boy. He was extradited back to Georgia in January 2013 to face six counts of child molestation.
Writer Nancy A. Collins, who led the charge for a boycott of DragonCon because of its financial ties to co-founder, and accused child molester, Ed Kramer, ended that call on Monday after organizers announced they’ve transferred ownership of the Atlanta convention to a new legal entity and have offered to buy out Kramer’s shares.
Kramer, who’s in jail awaiting trial on child-molestation charges that date back 13 years, hasn’t been involved in the operation of the event since 2000, but continued to receive annual dividends because of his stake in the for-profit corporation. He’s said to have made $154,000 from DragonCon in 2011 alone.
“Barring unforeseen events, I am now officially calling off the boycott,” Collins said in a statement to The Beat. “It’s interesting to see that something that had not been done and supposedly *couldn’t* be done for nearly 13 years somehow managed to be implemented in less than 6 months. I would like to thank those professionals who took a stand and vocally supported the boycott of DragonCon, as well as the many fans who have done so as well. You looked the dragon in the eye and made it blink. And have no doubt, it was your unified efforts, actions and voices that made this happen, and nothing else. It was you, and no one else, who were responsible for this cancer finally being cut from Fandom.”
A judge in Georgia today denied bond to Ed Kramer, the DragonCon co-founder who faces child molestation accusations dating back nearly 13 years.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen E. Beyers determined the 52-year-old Kramer, who was arrested in September 2011 on charges of violating his bond, might not adhere to the conditions of the order.
Kramer was originally arrested on charges of molesting three teenage boys between 1996 and 2000, but the trial has been repeatedly delayed since his 2003 indictment through legal maneuverings and claims of declining health, which at point point apparently required the attention of 16 physicians. He was first released on bond in November 2000, less than three months after his arrest, but he was back in jail within days when a neighbor reported seeing a teenage boy enter his home.
Noting that co-founder Ed Kramer is still “a stockholder despite our desires otherwise,” DragonCon issued a statement on Friday to address the “great deal of discussion” surrounding the accused child molester and his association with the convention.
Much of that discussion has been driven by novelist and comics writer Nancy A. Collins, who late last month asked professionals to boycott DragonCon because of its continued continued connection to Kramer, who was extradited back to Georgia in January on child-molestation charges dating back to 2000. Although Kramer resigned from the board following his original arrest, he continues to receive annual dividends from his one-third stake in the for-profit corporation — $154,000 for 2011 alone, according to Atlanta Magazine — while stalling his criminal case for more than a decade and suing co-founder Pat Henry and DragonCon/ACE Inc.
“No matter what Dragon*Con does or says, funds from the convention will continue to go to Edward Kramer until either he dies or the corporation that runs the convention dissolves and reincorporates under another name,” Collins wrote. “Dragon*Con knows what needs to be done, but has been dragging its feet on this matter, and has gone to great trouble over the last 12 years to hide the fact that they continue to fund Edward Kramer’s lifestyle. [...] It is up to the Professionals — we writers, artists, musicians, editors, actors, and film-makers — to make a stand, as we are a large part of what attracts (at last count) 50,000 fans to the convention each Labor Day.”
According to the statement from DragonCon, organizers have made multiple attempts to sever ties with Kramer, including efforts to buy his shares.
“Unfortunately, Edward Kramer’s response to our buyout efforts was repeated litigation against Dragon*Con … thus our buyout efforts have been stalled. The idea proposed of dissolving the company and reincorporating has been thoroughly investigated and is not possible at this point. Legally, we can’t just take away his shares. We are unfortunately limited in our options and responses as we remain in active litigation,” the statement reads, noting that they hope the upcoming trials will “provide a resolution of Edward Kramer’s guilt or innocence, and therefore a cause of legally divorcing ourselves from him once and for all.”
You can find the entire statement below.
Ed Kramer’s extradition to Georgia last week on child-molestation charges dating back to 2000 has again cast a spotlight on his relationship with DragonCon, the Atlanta convention he helped found nearly 26 years ago.
The 51-year-old Kramer hasn’t been directly associated with the event since his arrest in August 2000 on charges of sexually abusing two teenage boys. However, he continues to receive annual dividends from DragonCon — $154,000 for 2011 alone, according to Atlanta Magazine — after attempts to buy out Kramer’s stake in the for-profit corporation proved unsuccessful. The litigious Kramer has filed two lawsuits against co-founder Pat Henry and DragonCon/ACE Inc.
But horror author Nancy A. Collins, who was among the first to speak out against Kramer, contends DragonCon organizers haven’t done enough to extricate themselves from its co-founder. And so in a proposal circulated Monday by Stephen Bissette, the former Swamp Thing writer calls for professionals to boycott the convention in an effort “to cut off the flow of money” to Kramer, “who has been using the 150K+ a year he receives each year from DragonCon to avoid trial and manipulate the justice system.”
Legal | DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer, who hasn’t been associated with the show since 2000, has been brought back to the Gwinnett County Jail and booked on child molestation charges that date back to August 2000. The 51-year-old Kramer was released on bond after his initial arrest following accusations that he sexually abused three boys, and has avoided jail and court for more than a decade because of his health problems, although he was under house arrest for a while. He was arrested again in Connecticut in 2011 for violating the conditions of his bond after he was allegedly found alone in a hotel room with a 14-year-old boy. Atlanta Magazine ran a lengthy expose on Kramer last year. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Legal | Writer Scott Henry details the lengthy attempt to prosecute Dragon*Con co-founder Ed Kramer on charges of child molestation. The case began in 2000 and has yet to go to trial. [Atlanta Magazine]
Publishing | Bandai Entertainment will discontinue sales of manga, novels and anime, with the final shipment of manga going out at the end of October. The company, a subsidiary of Namco Bandai Entertainment, had stopped publishing new work in January and was focusing on sales of its existing properties. [Anime News Network]