LAWRENCEVILLE — Thirteen years ago Ed Kramer was arrested on child molestation charges. At long last, he was due for his due in court, all stalling tactics finally petering out. Instead of facing a jury, he pled guilty today to three counts of child molestation in a plea bargain for the state of Georgia not prosecuting him on three more charges. The way things are looking, he won’t spend another day in jail. Instead, he’s going to be wearing a GPS device and restricted to his own house.
Under the nine-condition agreement, District Attorney Danny Porter recommended concurrent sentences of 20 years to serve five for each count. Because of 26 months previously served in the Gwinnett County jail and while incarcerated in Connecticut, Kramer will actually serve 34 months. That time will be under house arrest and not in prison, due chiefly to a litany of medical conditions Kramer reportedly suffers from. All three of Kramer’s alleged victims, now grown men in their mid- to late-20s, were in the courtroom today and approved the deal before it was officially offered. As part of the agreement, they will each receive $100,000 restitution.
After his original arrest, Kramer put off a trial via dozens of motions, medical complaints and a constantly changing team of defense attorneys. He was released from house arrest in 2009 and permitted to check in via phone. Not much changed in the case until 2011, when he was allegedly seen in a Milford, Conn., hotel room with an unsupervised 14-year-old boy.
“I think the fact that we resolved it the way we did is a good resolution,” said District Attorney Danny Porter said. “We saved the county and the state tremendous expenditures, because that’s what he is … We have set it up so that any mistake puts him in the penitentiary and we’ve gotten restitution to the victims, so overall it was a good resolution. And the fact that since it’s a plea he can’t appeal,” he added. “He’s done.”
Kramer was originally arrested on Aug. 25, 2000, after two half-brothers, ages 13 and 15, came forward claiming he had touched them inappropriately and performed oral sex on them. Kramer reportedly met their mother through a singles line “but really spent more time with the boys.”
He fought his extradition to Georgia for more than a year, taking it all the way to the Connecticut Supreme Court, before being booked back into the Gwinnett County jail in January.
Upon conviction, each of the charges against Kramer would have carried a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence. The two aggravated counts had the potential for life sentences.
Kramer technically entered an Alford plea, which allows defendants to plead guilty without actually admitting guilt. “He maintains his innocence on all charges,” defense attorney McNeill Stokes said.
During the 11 months he was incarcerated in the county jail, he cost the state of Georgia between $200,000 and $300,000 by some estimates, so the house arrest is viewed as a cost saving measure. This time Kramer will be under house arrest complete with real-time GPS monitoring and forbidden to leave his residence without the approval of the county. Following that 34-month sentence, he will be on probation, which Porter said he would “ensure is pretty intensive.”
Having no control over Dragon Con since 2000 and being bought out of his financial stake earlier this year, Kramer will be out of the Gwinnett County jail as soon as the aforementioned GPS tracking system is set up. Porter wasn’t sure yet where Kramer would go, but he still owns a home on Honeycomb Way in Duluth.
Porter hasn’t been shy about his skepticism of Kramer’s health, calling his alleged ailments, which range from neck pain to emphysema and psoriatic arthritis, “incarceration induced.” He expected “a miraculous recovery” and described Kramer “still a threat.”
“It would not surprise me if we were back in court in 90 or 120 days on a probation revocation,” Porter said. “And then he’s looking at 60 years in the penitentiary.”
– 30 –