Molestation charges linger against Dragon Con founder

The sci-fi/fantasy convention he started in Atlanta now ranks among the world's largest, but Ed Kramer, suffering from a variety of illnesses, won't be there to enjoy it this weekend.

If Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter had his way, Kramer wouldn't even have the option of attending Dragon Con 2010. Though he was charged nearly 10 years ago with molesting two young brothers (a third alleged victim came forward three  years later),  Kramer has managed to avoid trial.

And the more time passes, the less likely it appears he'll ever face a jury.

"I think eventually he could be tried," Porter said. "[Kramer] has done nothing but delay and blame everyone else but himself."

Kramer, 49, contends he wants to clear his name, but a number of maladies -- which, according to attorney Ed Marger, include emphysema, narcolepsy and a degenerative spine -- have made it difficult for him to participate in his own defense. On Wednesday his lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against their client, one Porter plans to fight.

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"Since the beginning he's indicated he wants to go to trial," Marger told the AJC Friday, "if the judge will give him the accommodations his health issues require."

But in September 2007 the Georgia Court of Appeals placed most of the blame on the defendant.

"The record strongly indicates that Kramer either sought or knowingly acquiesced in the great majority of the delay and did not want a speedy trial, " the court said.

His doctors say Kramer, who requires the use of a respirator,  can't handle more than three-hour sessions with 90-minute breaks in between -- a request that would wreak havoc with any court calendar. At his last hearing, in April 2009, Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers offered to hold the trial in four-hour intervals, with two-hour breaks, a schedule Kramer's attorneys say would be too stressful.

They argue it's up to prosecutors to prove the defendant is physically competent to stand trial.

He's accused of sexually abusing three teenage boys. Kramer, who cannot have unsupervised contact with children under 16 and must report his whereabouts to the Gwinnett DA every week, was first arrested in Aug. 2000 after two boys, 13 and 15, told police the sci-fi impresario took advantage of them during sleepovers at his house. In 2003, a third teen came forward alleging that Kramer abused him.

Multiple felony charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation followed, as did a number of continuances.

Kramer denies the charges, but the allegations have largely taken a backseat to his health. Porter and Marger agree on one thing: Kramer's case is unprecedented.

"I've been practicing law for 57 years and I don't even remember hearing about anything like this," Marger said.

The Gwinnett D.A. said the prosecution has never been given the opportunity to independently confirm Kramer's health woes.

"I assert a lot of this is fabrication," Porter told the AJC.

If true, then Kramer may have stumbled on a brilliant plan to avoid prosecution.

"This may be something the courts have to address because it appears he may be exploiting a loophole here," Porter said.

Almost forgotten in this case are the three alleged victims, all of whom are now adults. The brothers, ages 13 and 15 at the time they say they were abused by Kramer, enlisted in the U.S. Army. Their mother told the AJC in a 2007 interview they are prepared to testify if a trial ever occurs.

"They're incredibly frustrated," Porter said.

And so is the district attorney.

"I could be ready to prosecute this in 30 days," he said.

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