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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ed Kramer finally to stand trial?

Tomorrow, it will be seven full years since my cover story about the then-impending trial of Dragon*Con founder Ed Kramer on charges of child molestation. At the time, it had been more than a year since Kramer's August 2000 arrest. He'd already gone to jail, been granted house arrest, had his house arrest revoked, suffered a spine injury during a jailhouse riot and been placed once again under house arrest do he could receive treatment for a laundry list of medical conditions.

click to enlarge Ed Kramer last September
  • Ed Kramer last September

For most of the seven intervening years, Kramer has remained confined to his Gwinnett County home with an ankle bracelet. This past May, according to the AJC, a judge ruled that he could be allowed off electronic monitoring, so long as he check in with the DA's office every day. That would explain why I saw him this past September at a Libertarian fundraiser in Sandy Springs, dressed head-to-toe in black and wheeling about on an electric scooter.

Why has it taken so long to get Kramer inside a court room? Well, many of the delays have been the result of actions taken by his own musical-chairs legal team. The first postponement came in 2002 when his first attorney, high-priced litigator Walt Britt of Buford, succeeded in getting Gwinnett's entire jury pool thrown out on procedural grounds.

In 2003, the DA's office put the case on hold in order to file more charges. Kramer had initially been accused of molesting two brothers, age 13 and 15, during sleep-overs at his house; at the time, he was dating their mother. But a third boy came forward and alleged that he'd been molested by Kramer over a period of several years.

Prosecutors say Kramer has used a variety of stalling tactics – claiming he needed medical treatments, requesting extra time so new attorneys could get up to speed – in order to evade the 60-year prison sentence he faces if convicted. And a little more than a year ago, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed that most of the delays could be blamed on Kramer.

Kramer's new trial date appears to be May 11. I don't plan to hold my breath, but it does seem that the courts and prosecutors are ready to finally see this one through. It's about time.

(Photo: Joeff Davis)

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