LAWRENCEVILLE - For the first time since his 2000 release from jail, Duluth resident and DragonCon founder Ed Kramer is free from house arrest restrictions, following a recent order by a Gwinnett judge.
Kramer, who is in poor health, has spent more than seven years awaiting trail on charges he molested three teenage boys. Superior Court Judge Richard Winegarden ordered May 21 that Kramer no longer has to abide by an electronic monitoring system, provided he has no contact with witnesses or anyone younger than age 16.
District Attorney Danny Porter said Kramer is also required to report his whereabouts and address weekly. Porter agreed to the modification of Kramer's bond because Kramer had to travel widely for treatment, requiring action by the court.
"Every time there was a change, we had to go into court," Porter said. "It just became unwieldy."
Kramer is a science fiction author who in 1987 founded the sci-fi, fantasy and gaming convention known as DragonCon, held in Atlanta each year.
Kramer's attorney, Edwin Marger, said the new freedom means his client can attend to his mother, who has terminal cancer, and to his own health issues. Kramer has said he has debilitating back pain from spinal injuries incurred while he was in jail and from a car accident.
Kramer uses a wheelchair, breathes with an oxygen tank and requires many trips to the doctor, Marger said.
'We came up with this order in order to preserve his health and try to help the health of his mother,' Marger said.
Prosecutors say Kramer met two boys, ages 13 and 15, when he began dating their mother.
They say he dazzled them with action figures, science fiction memorabilia and connections with celebrities and that he took advantage of them during sleepovers.
In 2003, a third teen and family friend came forward alleging Kramer abused him between 1996 and 2000.
Since his August 2000 arrest, Kramer's case has grown into a marathon court saga dotted with evidence disputes, a re-indictment and slippery trial dates.
Kramer's defense argued his right to a speedy trial had been denied, but a local court ruled otherwise in February 2007. A motion to dismiss the charges was later rejected by the Georgia Court of Appeals. The case could reach a Gwinnett courtroom in the next two months, though a trial will likely be continued at the request of Kramer's defense, Porter said.
He faces up to 60 years in prison.
Last October, a planned sit-in protest at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in support of Kramer never materialized. Friends and DragonCon enthusiasts pledged to descend on Gwinnett from as far as New York, but they later backed out because of permitting issues, leaders said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.