DragonCon founder denied bond

The founder of the popular science-fiction convention DragonCon was denied bond on Friday in a Gwinnett County case involving multiple allegations of child molestation that has dragged on for more than a decade.

Superior Court Judge Karen E. Beyers found that Edward Kramer’s past behavior indicated he was a risk of not adhering to conditions of bond.

Kramer, 52, was out on bond when he was arrested Sept. 14, 2011 in Connecticut on a charge of endangering a child and violation of bond. Authorities in Connecticut alleged that Kramer was staying in a hotel room with an unsupervised 14-year-old boy while the boy acted in a low-budget horror movie. The conditions of Kramer’s bond at the time were such that he was prohibited from having any unsupervised contact with any child under 16 years of age.

Kramer was also supposed to check in with the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office using a traceable landline telephone once a week. It was later learned that Kramer had been checking in using a cell phone for about a year leading up to his re-arrest, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.

Kramer was extradited back to Gwinnett in January, where he is being held in the county jail awaiting trial.

He is accused of molesting three young boys between 1996 and 2000. He faces six counts of child molestation. However his trial has repeatedly been delayed since his 2003 indictment. Most of the postponements were granted at the requests of Kramer’s lawyers, who presented evidence that he was suffering from numerous ailments, including spinal problems that affected his ability to breathe and concentrate, and was too ill to assist in his own defense.

Kramer appeared in court Friday in a wheelchair. He used a battery-operated oxygen tank to breathe through a tube that snaked over his ears and stopped underneath his nose. About midway through the hearing, Kramer was wheeled back out of court by deputies and returned to the jail. His lawyer waived Kramer’s right to be at the remainder of the hearing, saying Kramer wasn’t feeling well.

However, Porter on Friday called two witnesses who testified about seeing Kramer, a science-fiction author and film buff, at movie sets in Kentucky and Connecticut taking behind-the-scenes pictures and video clips. Both the witnesses, one who was a makeup artist and another who was an audio/visual producer, testified that Kramer seemed to have no serious problem breathing, standing or walking around. They also said Kramer did not have an oxygen tank with him at the movie sets.

Porter argued that Kramer manipulated his own lawyers, the court and the prosecution and engaged in a “calculated pattern of evasion of the court’s orders” to avoid going to trial and remain out of jail.

“The only time when Mr. Kramer is physically in distress is when he’s facing the consequences of this case,” Porter said.

A hearing date has not been set on the prosecution’s motion to put the case back on the trial calendar, but Kramer’s defense attorney, Brian Steel, told the judge he would probably be ready for it in two to three months.