For more than 12 years, Atlanta’s DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer has faced charges of molesting three teenaged boys, but has been able to avoid prosecution.
But that could end soon as Kramer now sits in a Connecticut prison cell awaiting possible extradition to Georgia to finally face a judge and jury. The break that may finally get a court case going? A film set visit last year that made some parents of young actors question Kramer’s motives.
Kramer, who helped found DragonCon in the late 1980s and led it into one of the east coast’s largest genre conventions, was first arrested in August 2000, accused of molesting two boys, the children of a woman he had been dating for a couple of months before. Many members of the fan community rose up to defend Kramer, including writer Harlan Ellison, but Kramer would never see his day in court. Continuous requests for delays, and what one attorney described as a “nickel and diming” of the system, eventually made him virtually a free man who could travel around the country with ease.
Last year, Kramer found himself in Connecticut on the set of the independent film “The Penny Dreadful Picture Show,” which involved a small group of young teenaged actors. One of the production assistants for the film, the late Nick Vallas, later visited one of the boy’s hotel rooms and found the actor dressed only in a towel, with Kramer in the room.
That was enough for Connecticut authorities to arrest him on charges of risk of injury to a minor, and has been sitting in jail ever since.
Now Danny Porter, the district attorney in Atlanta’s Gwinnett County, is pushing to finally start a trial that has been postponed at least five times. Porter has been fighting for extradition for months, and is currently in appeals to return Kramer to Georgia. If he does return to the state, Kramer could face trial in the alleged molestation of three boys, and could be facing decades in jail.
The only concern is that if Kramer is convicted in the trial, there is a slim chance he could ever serve out his sentence. Why? Because the cost to acquiesce to his health needs could be too much for Georgia to handle.
In fact, it’s those very health issues that has kept Kramer out of jail in the first place, for the most part. Through court filings, Kramer claims he is currently under the care of more than a dozen doctors, and at least 50 different medications. They all treat conditions that include spinal injury, psoriasis, narcolepsy, diabetes, asthma and more.
“If Ed Kramer’s convicted tomorrow and sentenced to 20 years, what’s the Georgia prison system going to do with him?” Porter asked Atlanta Magazine. “The chances of him serving significant time, given the costs of maintaining him, are negligible. That’s the elephant in the room, and he probably knows it.”
Despite reportedly receiving more than $100,000 in dividends from DragonCon each year, Kramer was able to win a claim to receive Social Security dating back to 2000 several years ago. He even tried to emigrate to Israel, with Porter’s blessing, when the victims — now in their 20s — were interested in putting the case behind them. Kramer, however, was unsuccessful.
Although Kramer’s name is not officially associated with DragonCon anymore, he is still considered one of the owners, and has fought for profit. The other owners, however, have allegedly tried to push him out, and have fought Kramer in court over his past dividends. The two sides are currently in court battling over a 2011 dividend payout of $154,000.
For more history of Kramer’s life over the last 12 years, read the complete story from Atlanta Magazine‘s Scott Henry by clicking here.