Dragon Con Co-Founder Pleads Guilty to Child Molestation Charges

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Dragon Con Co-Founder Pleads Guilty to Child Molestation Charges

Dragon Con co-founder Edward Kramer will serve his sentence on house arrest.

The co-founder of multi-genre convention Dragon Con has filed guilty pleas on three counts of child molestation. Edward Kramer will serve the remainder of his confinement sentence under house arrest and then be on probation for the following 15 years.

Three separate teenagers, two of whom are brothers, accused Kramer of sexual abuse. Kramer was accused in 2000 of sodomizing the younger brother. The older brother also came forward with allegations. A third accuser claimed Kramer molested him in 1996. Kramer was arrested in 2011 for endangering a child when authorities learned he had been sharing a hotel room with a 14-year-old boy.

The trial was put off for 13 years. Kramer entered an Alford plea, which is a guilty plea that avoids admitting wrongdoing. Kramer's attorney McNeill Stokes said Kramer was in poor health and could not endure a lengthy trial. Kramer sat in a wheelchair and breathed from an oxygen tank.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said he and the defense counsel had been working out negotiations before the guilty plea on how to settle the case without asking the victims to testify "to let them get some closure."

As a first-time offender, Kramer was sentenced to 20 years, five of which must be under confinement. Because he has already served 26 months of the 5-year sentence, he will spend the remaining 34 months under house arrest.

Kramer's co-founders bought his shares in the company after attendees threatened to boycott the convention if Kramer continued to profit from it. "We...wanted to try and get [the victims] some restitution for the years of suffering that they went through," Porter said.

Kramer will pay each victim $100,000 and register as a sex offender.

Source: AJC.com

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I'm not sure how exactly this is related to gaming.

loa:
I'm not sure how exactly this is related to gamin.

Dragon Con has quite a few gaming related aspects to it.

While I hate to be stereotypical, the only way this guy would like more like popular culture's idea of a child molester was if he was wearing a pedobear t-shirt. I guess maybe he only grew the wild beard after he'd been caught. Hopefully the victims can get some closure now.

Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

I find it odd that we are suddenly getting a huge surge of these, Lost Prophets Singer, some Northen Irish bloke and a few other BBC people all came out and got arrested.

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

He got the shit kicked out of him in jail and supposedly broke his back. Which is the reason for the house arrest

I don't mean to make light of the situation, but looking at that picture, I'm not surprised that the man is a molester (the glasses do it for me)

One thing that does surprise me though was that the trial was put off for 13 years. I suppose if the man was really in such poor health that he couldn't be around for most court dates then I could understand, but even still, 13 years? That's still a long-ass time to wait on a trial

JoJo:
While I hate to be stereotypical, the only way this guy would like more like popular culture's idea of a child molester was if he was wearing a pedobear t-shirt. I guess maybe he only grew the wild beard after he'd been caught. Hopefully the victims can get some closure now.

I was thinking the exact same thing. Big ass beard, glasses, shifty eyes and kinda sweaty looking. Yeah, it takes effort to get that look.

Yeah, I feel bad for this, it's a shame this happened and this has probably affected their lives to a huge degree. Hopefully the victims will be be able to put this behind them, but that depends on how bad things got.

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

You see those oxygen tubes on his face? He probably needs constant medical attention just to survive.

Interesting. I saw this guy in passing at the one and only DragonCon I attended. Guy had a pretty creepy vibe about him.

loa:
I'm not sure how exactly this is related to gaming.

This is the news forum, not all the topics are gaming related.

KDR_11k:

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

You see those oxygen tubes on his face? He probably needs constant medical attention just to survive.

According to his attorney he has emphysema, narcolepsy and a degenerative spine.

Eternal_Lament:
I don't mean to make light of the situation, but looking at that picture, I'm not surprised that the man is a molester (the glasses do it for me)

One thing that does surprise me though was that the trial was put off for 13 years. I suppose if the man was really in such poor health that he couldn't be around for most court dates then I could understand, but even still, 13 years? That's still a long-ass time to wait on a trial

Because the US Justice system is arse and I doubt it'll change before the world ends. That is not to say that our courts over here in Australia are any better of course. There are a gazillion little loopholes, technicalities, ways to stall, etc, which lawyers spend their lives studying.

It's just plain sickening that this lasted so long.

I am against government sanctioned murder, but it is very, very, very difficult to maintain that when faced with people that commit acts of horrendous consequence like rape and child abuse. At least murder (can) afford the victim a quick mercy. An exceptionally and insulting short sentence with little in the way of punishment makes this... harder. What tiny peace of mind a victim can receive is justice. That is not the case here.

I guess I am left to do my best not to find joy in his approaching death, however slow and uncomfortable it may be.

Well that's bullshit. He raped three people and he gets to chill out at his house? At least he has to pay restitutions, and I hope it will be some comfort to his victims.

I'm against the death penalty by-and-large, but I'm not terribly saddened by finding out his health is failing and he doesn't seem to have long. I wont celebrate when he goes, but I'm not going to weep for him either.

Wow! My wife's an Attorney and we got into an argument over the Alford plea years ago. I had forgotten about it until just now. I think it boils down to "I, as the defendant, will stick to my guns that I am not guilty, but also concede that you have enough evidence to more than likely prove that I am guilty. But since I'm maintaining my innocence, while entering a guilty plea no less, I am exempt from certain penalties that would have come about had an entered a regular guilty plea."

That's my understanding of it. As I said, it's been a while since I discussed it, and conversation became heated because it turned into me screaming "that is bullshit! Someone can say "yeah, I'm guilty, but admitting it in a way that lessens/limits how much you can prosecute me." I understand it is used by people who didn't necessarily know they committed a crime: say for example, someone that was heavily intoxicated, but it is also used by scumbags lighten their sentence.

There are certain crimes that I have sympathy for. This is definitely not one of them.

albino boo:

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

He got the shit kicked out of him in jail and supposedly broke his back. Which is the reason for the house arrest

Yeah, it's pretty common in the US for people convicted of rapes and crimes against children to be beaten and ostracized by other inmates whilst "inside." A lot of times, these people end up dead before their first year is over.

As for the guy's mug...I don't think there's any way to not look creepy upon the revelation that you're a sexual predator. It's just +100 creep right there.

Fu11Frontal:

albino boo:

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

He got the shit kicked out of him in jail and supposedly broke his back. Which is the reason for the house arrest

Yeah, it's pretty common in the US for people convicted of rapes and crimes against children to be beaten and ostracized by other inmates whilst "inside." A lot of times, these people end up dead before their first year is over.

As for the guy's mug...I don't think there's any way to not look creepy upon the revelation that you're a sexual predator. It's just +100 creep right there.

If only more of them got killed in jail. I won't even apologise for that line of thought. They need to be dead for what they did, and dead people don't cost the justice system as much money. Simple as that. Someone harms a child like that, they need to die. No question.

Hope this doesn't damage the reputation of the convention.

Sensationary titles strikes again.
Sexual abuse of teenagers is not child molestation because by definition teenagers are not children.

Strazdas:
Sensationary titles strikes again.
Sexual abuse of teenagers is not child molestation because by definition teenagers are not children.

In the US a person is considered a child until they're 18 I believe. At least as they are in the eyes of the law.

The dude even fits the bill of a stereotypical child molester.

Christ.

At first though I was hoping that Dragon Con co-founder= Dragoneer.

I hate that guy. So does most of the furry community.

The dude should of been put in jail after he was exposed to helping a convicted Zoophiliac get away from the cops. (among other things)

Strazdas:
Sensationary titles strikes again.
Sexual abuse of teenagers is not child molestation because by definition teenagers are not children.

This reminds me of people who scream pedophile for some guy liking 13 year old girls. Newsflash- That's not what a pedo does.

Buccura:
Hope this doesn't damage the reputation of the convention.

Dragon Con has a reputation?

.....when did this happen?

I kid, it might of had one back in the day, but now you have dozens of cons that spread over dozens of genre's.

I am however glad that his shares were bought out, I doubt it would of continued to be a Convention had people known their tickets and passes were supporting a child molester.

JoJo:
While I hate to be stereotypical, the only way this guy would like more like popular culture's idea of a child molester was if he was wearing a pedobear t-shirt. I guess maybe he only grew the wild beard after he'd been caught. Hopefully the victims can get some closure now.

Oh no. If anything he has gotten better groomed since he was arrested. His beard is actually much neater and more trimmed now. A few years ago he looked like Peter Jackson's less debonair brother.

Of course most of the footage of him back then was of him partying in hotel rooms full of pre teen and adolescent boys ala Michael Jackson... just saying.

Did he deliberately make himself up to look like a stereotypical "child molester" or something?

The boycott really had almost nothing to do with Dragon Con buying out Kramer's shares. They had been trying to do this for years, but Kramer kept preventing it through a series of legal maneuvers. Eventually they managed to buy him out by dissolving and reforming the company which they could not do until recently due to the lawsuits that Kramer had against Dragon*Con. The boycott was a publicity stunt by an author who had a new book coming out. D*C's numbers would have been almost completed unaffected by it.

Also, Kramer only claims to need the use of a wheelchair and oxygen tank. The person who reported him to the police that finally got him arrested this final time noted that he had been climbing up and down hills all day carrying heavy equipment with neither wheelchair or oxygen tank in sight.

tdylan:
Wow! My wife's an Attorney and we got into an argument over the Alford plea years ago. I had forgotten about it until just now. I think it boils down to "I, as the defendant, will stick to my guns that I am not guilty, but also concede that you have enough evidence to more than likely prove that I am guilty. But since I'm maintaining my innocence, while entering a guilty plea no less, I am exempt from certain penalties that would have come about had an entered a regular guilty plea."

That's my understanding of it. As I said, it's been a while since I discussed it, and conversation became heated because it turned into me screaming "that is bullshit! Someone can say "yeah, I'm guilty, but admitting it in a way that lessens/limits how much you can prosecute me." I understand it is used by people who didn't necessarily know they committed a crime: say for example, someone that was heavily intoxicated, but it is also used by scumbags lighten their sentence.

There are certain crimes that I have sympathy for. This is definitely not one of them.

That's a pretty fair description of it. I tend to summarize an Alford Plea as "I'm innocent, but can't beat the prosecutor's case".

I think it's inherently a pretty reasonable thing given how our legal system works, since it is very possible for an innocent man to not be able to beat a case, especially when politics get involved, or he might simply not have the resources or ability to put up a decent fight. The system tries to be weighted heavily towards the defendant, but at the end of the day consider that the prosecution has the resources of the state behind them, and once they decide to take a trial to court they then have a vested interest in seeing the case concluded in their favor, as it can affect their record and career if they fight a case and fail. Indeed one of the biggest causes of corruption at the state level comes from situations where a prosecutor might withhold evidence, hamper investigations, and play various bureaucratic games in order to convict someone they know is innocent simply so their career doesn't suffer as a result.

While I suppose it might vary state from state, maintaining your innocence actually does leave you more options if you can somehow hire an investigator or convince someone to look into things for you (like say police who weren't entirely convinced). This is exaggerated in the movies, but the bottom line is that if you say your guilty it can be a lore more difficult to re-open a case based on new evidence than if you maintained your innocence.

That's not to say that this can't be abused, but I think the reasons for it existing are sound, and I'm pretty pro-authorities.

Hazzard:
I find it odd that we are suddenly getting a huge surge of these, Lost Prophets Singer, some Northen Irish bloke and a few other BBC people all came out and got arrested.

Aye, I think there is something of a crack down going on right now. Whether that will continue or not remains to be seen. I'd normally suspect there being some political reasons behind it, but it's a little too international for that, and honestly while the "Lost Prophets" guy would have made the news no matter what (sort of like "Gary Glitter") I think what's standing out is the amount of media attention when the authorities try and keep this stuff fairly quiet. For example the "Dragon Con" guy isn't normally the kind of "celebrity" that would have gotten much attention, even enough o hit the radar on "The Escapist" even if geek culture is it's area of interest. This kind of thing is usually kept fairly quiet.

faefrost:

JoJo:
While I hate to be stereotypical, the only way this guy would like more like popular culture's idea of a child molester was if he was wearing a pedobear t-shirt. I guess maybe he only grew the wild beard after he'd been caught. Hopefully the victims can get some closure now.

Oh no. If anything he has gotten better groomed since he was arrested. His beard is actually much neater and more trimmed now. A few years ago he looked like Peter Jackson's less debonair brother.

Of course most of the footage of him back then was of him partying in hotel rooms full of pre teen and adolescent boys ala Michael Jackson... just saying.

Well, to be fair that kind of scene wasn't inherently suspicious for the kind of environment it was, as you expect lots of kids to show up for science fiction and fantasy cons, gaming events, etc... and of course the parents to let them wander around. As one of the organizers of something like this he'd also be viewed as implicitly safe, especially if there were other kids around. In short the perfect environment for a child molester to flourish, and be able to both duck suspicion, and present a degree of plausible deniability and claims of defamation of character given the occasionally political environment if questioned.

That said, I'm actually a bit surprised we haven't heard more about this kind of thing on the con/gaming circuit, probably because when it's happened it's been kept under the radar. I say this because there are some really strange people that show up at cons. Truthfully I always figured if we ran into this kind of a story it wasn't going to be a con organizer so much as a game gypsy, though I guess they haven't been around the same way for a while (but then again I don't do PnP RPGs much anymore, never mind look for even tiny, local cons).

A game gypsy was typically a mooching nerdy drifter who hangs out at game stores or travels from con to con, and by this I don't mean just major ones (we for example had local Gamefests around here sponsored by The Citadel gaming store, I only went a few times though... I loved them to an insane degree as a kid). Typically carrying a milk crate or duffel bag full of mixed books for various games, and typically one or two decks for CCGs. Where he differs from a general attendee or customer is that he's looking for a group to game with, and indeed he DOES game, but typically he wants to find adult gamers that will let him go home with them to game so he can crash on their couch and mooch free grub until his welcome wears out. Oftentimes making a circuit from gaming group to gaming group and con to con, largely motivated by where he can get a meal while gaming or a couch to sleep on. Typically pretty harmless, but I always had it in the back of my mind one day we might hear about one of these guys being a child molester, or killing/robbing people in
their sleep. It differs from similar collegiate/student behavior (better than sleeping in the dorm, or not wanting to go home) usually due to the distance travelled.

At any rate, I'm glad they got the guy, but at the same time I'm appalled it took 13 years no matter what bureaucratic excuses there are, especially seeing as he apparently managed to claim 3 victims that we know of.

The only thing I can think of being worse for the con scene is if someone like Ed Greenwood, or David "Zeb" Cook was caught molesting someone given how both seemed to be lynchpins of gaming cons for a long time (though I never attended one where either was present).

Eri:

Strazdas:
Sensationary titles strikes again.
Sexual abuse of teenagers is not child molestation because by definition teenagers are not children.

This reminds me of people who scream pedophile for some guy liking 13 year old girls. Newsflash- That's not what a pedo does.

Tell that to pretty much every single news outlet. sadly pedo sounds much more menecing that "a guy that follows his biology".

Beffudled Sheep:

Strazdas:
Sensationary titles strikes again.
Sexual abuse of teenagers is not child molestation because by definition teenagers are not children.

In the US a person is considered a child until they're 18 I believe. At least as they are in the eyes of the law.

No. In the eyes of law they are underage people. Law does not classify "children". Thats why you will never see a case for "pedofilia", but rather for sexual assault of underage victims.

tdylan:
Wow! My wife's an Attorney and we got into an argument over the Alford plea years ago. I had forgotten about it until just now. I think it boils down to "I, as the defendant, will stick to my guns that I am not guilty, but also concede that you have enough evidence to more than likely prove that I am guilty. But since I'm maintaining my innocence, while entering a guilty plea no less, I am exempt from certain penalties that would have come about had an entered a regular guilty plea."

That's my understanding of it.

Fascinating. Thank you for sharing this elaboration - I was wondering about it and you saved me a trip to Wikipedia to learn about Alford pleas!

I'm not a lawyer nor do I play on one tv, but it seems odd this doesn't come up more. I dig the intoxication reference for how it could be reasonably applied but honestly can't suss out how it fits here.

albino boo:

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

He got the shit kicked out of him in jail and supposedly broke his back. Which is the reason for the house arrest

Say what you want about prison, they know how to take care of child abusers.

OT: That's...weird. You would think they would just put him in PC/Solitary or something instead, but oh well. At least his health is punishing him too.

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

I think it has more to do with his health condition, it costs a small fortune to give inmates constant medical treatment, meanwhile they can put him on house arrest and he will have to continue paying for his own medical treatments.

OT: This should have been addressed years ago, 11 years in litigation is way too long.

EHKOS:

albino boo:

faefrost:
Very creepy little hairy dude. I'm kind of appalled that child molestation only garners "house arrest"? I suspect that the Fulton County DA will have an election challenge over that decision alone.

He got the shit kicked out of him in jail and supposedly broke his back. Which is the reason for the house arrest

Say what you want about prison, they know how to take care of child abusers.

OT: That's...weird. You would think they would just put him in PC/Solitary or something instead, but oh well. At least his health is punishing him too.

The problem stems from the fact his lawyers have argued that he is not well enough to stand trial. He was only released on house arrest as a temporary measure before trial. His yearly income from dragoncon has enabled him to stretch out that for 11 years. It is not a coincidence that the guilty plea came 2 years after he was cut out of dragoncon.

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