Ed Kramer seeks to ease terms of house arrest

Within days of being sentenced to 34 months of home confinement on three counts of child molestation, DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer had already petitioned the court to allow him more freedom.

The 52-year-old Kramer avoided possible life imprisonment on Dec. 2 when he entered an Alford plea in Gwinnett County (Georgia) Superior Court -- it's effectively a guilty plea that allows the defendant to maintain his innocence -- that brought to a close the 13-year-old case. As a condition of the agreement, Kramer was sentence to five years of house arrest for each count, to run concurrently. Because he was previously jailed in Connecticut and Georgia for 26 months, he was left with 34 months. He will be a registered sex offender for life, and must pay $100,000 restitution to each of the three victims.

Some criticized the deal, saying it was far too lenient. However, District Attorney Danny Porter said he was concerned forthe three victims, now adults who were prepared to testify, and with the taxpayers, who have had to foot the estimated $200,000 to $300,000 bill for Kramer’s 11-month stay in the Gwinnett County Jail.

But the Gwinnett Daily Post reports that on Dec. 9, his attorney McNeill Stokes filed a motion asking that Kramer be permitted to leave his house for approved actions like medical appointments, grocery shopping and religious services simply by contacting the private company that tracks his ankle monitor -- rather than the probation or court systems.

Porter countered that the plea agreement doesn't grant Kramer carte blanche to go to the store, the doctor or to a synagogue; the court can grant permission or deny requests. “It is a basic tenant of incarceration that convicts don’t have the ability to come and go as they please,” he wrote. “This defendant is no different and should be restricted to his home except for those occasions in which a convict would be transported from the prison.”

Porter proposed instead that Kramer be required to ask permission to leave his home via letter or email to a supervising probation officer, with each request specifying purpose, destination and duration of his trip; proof of attendance might be necessary. “There are no continuing permission slips,” he said.

Kramer, who claims a laundry list of health problems that apparently required the attention of 16 physicians, at one point in the 13-year legal saga had 11 modifications made to the conditions of his bond. He was arrested in September 2011 in Connecticut for violating his bond, which had been modified to permit him to travel from Georgia to New York or New Jersey for medical treatments and to visit his ailing mother. Although he was not to have unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 16, he was allegedly found in a motel room with a 14-yer-old boy.

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