Dragon Con co-founder and convicted child molester Ed Kramer won’t go away. Kramer now wants his December conviction, which came 13 years after arrest, thrown out.
Kramer was convicted after a plea agreement in December involving a 2000 arrest for the molestation of three under-age boys.
In court filings thundering of constitutional outrage. Kramer’s lawyer Stephen Reba claims his client was forced into last year’s plea agreement through prosecutorial misconduct, a move that he said removed Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter from the case.
“He is a witness now,” Reba told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday of Porter. “While Mr. Kramer has been vilified during the pendency of his criminal proceedings and after, this case is really about governmental overreach and misconduct.”
The state Attorney General’s Office is taking over the case, Reba said.
Porter has pursued Kramer across the nation for more than decade of court delays due to Kramer’s health and legal challenges.
“The only way it will die is he’ll have to to die or I’ll have to die and even that might not stop it,” Danny Porter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday.
Porter never really believed his case against 53-year-old Ed Kramer ended when the former Dragon Con official was convicted in December
At the time Porter said he assumed Kramer would violate the plea agreement and return before the court.
Now he has to admit that he under-estimated Kramer, who avoided conviction for 13 years, and has taken direct aim at Porter and Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers in court filings to get his conviction overturned.
In court filings, Kramer’s lawyer claims his client was forced into last year’s plea bargain through prosecutorial misconduct, a move that got Porter removed from the case because he is now a witness.
On Monday, Reba also filed paperwork to have Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers similarly disqualified. He contends she colluded with Porter in improperly re-activating the case against Kramer, which he says the judge had effectively ended with an order in 2009.
In 2009, Reba contends, Beyers ruled that Kramer’s assessment of his medical issues would dictate when a trial could be commenced. Beyers stated then that she did not believe his medical condition would improve enough for trial “based on the degenerative nature of your medical condition,” Reba said in court filings.
“Due to Mr. Kramer’s signficiant disabilities, Judge Beyers entered an order in 2009 giving Mr. Kramer the sole authority of when to ask for a trial,” Reba said. “Accordingly Mr. Kramer was allowed to leave the state of Georgia and the prosecution was effectively over.”
Porter doesn’t dispute Beyers suspended Kramer’s trial until his medical condition improved, but the prosecutor disputes that the judge gave Kramer the power to decide whether he would go to trial. Beyers said in court papers that a stipulation to Kramer’s ability to leave the state was that he not be alone with any person younger than 16.
Kramer violated that stipulation when he was found to be sharing a motel room in Connecticut with a 14-year-old boy in 2011, which is why he was arrested and extradited back to Georgia to stand trial, Porter said.
Reba, in the statement, said the boy in question was the son of Kramer’s female partner and all charges were dismissed.
Reba also contends Beyers and Porter failed to provide medical accommodations that would have allowed Kramer to stand trial in December, which put him in the position of being forced into a plea deal.
Those in the Dragon Con and Sci-Fi communities who followed Kramer’s case — he had both defenders and detractors in the blogsphere — might wonder why he has decided to re-enter the legal arena after winning what appeared to be a victory of sorts in December.
He was allowed to enter an Alford plea, in which the defendant does not admit guilt but agrees the state has evidence to convict him, on the day the jury selection for his trial was to begin. Beyer sentenced him to 34 months under house arrest at his home in Duluth in addition to the 26 months he had served in the Gwinnett County jail.
He was required to pay each of his three victims $100,000 in restitution, but if had been convicted of molesting any of the three boys who were ages 13 to 15 at the time of the offense, he could have faced 20 years in prison, Porter said.
“He got a really good deal,” Porter said.
A look into Porter’s office, however, will show the district attorney never expected it to last. Against the wall to the left of his standing desk sit three cardboard boxes that Porter kept handy. They contain the filings in Kramer’s case.
“They never left,” he said. “I knew it wasn’t over.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.