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After arrest, DragonCon founder could see Gwinnett courtroom soon

LAWRENVEVILLE -- Should DragonCon founder and child molestation suspect Ed Kramer be extradited to Georgia following his arrest this week in Connecticut, Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said Thursday he's prepared to round up witnesses and take the long-delayed case to trial in a matter of days.

In a development that bodes well for Gwinnett prosecutors in Kramer's decade-long legal saga, police in the Connecticut city of Milford arrested Kramer on Tuesday after finding him in a Super 8 motel room with a 14-year-old boy, authorities said.

No evidence or witness statements have directly implicated Kramer as having sexual relations with the boy, who was acting in a low-budget horror movie being shot in the coastal town an hour north of New York City. But merely being in the presence of an unaccompanied teen violates conditions of Kramer's bond, justifying an arrest.

Citing a witness, Porter said Kramer had been identifying himself as the boy's guardian after his mother left the area.

"I can tell you that the source I had said they knocked on the (motel) door in the evening, and the kid answered wrapped in a towel with Kramer sitting on the bed, and no one else in the room," Porter told the Daily Post.

Kramer's attorney, Ed Marger, is out of the country until Monday, representatives at his office said. Marger did not respond to an e-mail Thursday.

A Milford police report states that extradition proceedings for Kramer are being explored. He faces multiple felony child molestation counts in Gwinnett, dating back to 2000, but Porter said he spoke with an investigator in Connecticut who indicated Kramer might be prosecuted there first.

Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Karen Byers revoked Kramer's bond this week, meaning if he's returned to Gwinnett he'll immediately be jailed without bond.

Porter said he's kept track of the three boys Kramer is accused of molesting -- all of them now at least in their mid-20s -- through the years.

"With two weeks notice, I could be ready to try the case," Porter said. "I know exactly where the witnesses are."

Milford police Officer Jeff Nielsen said Kramer is being held on a charge called risk of injury, with a bond of $100,000. Under Connecticut statute, the charge can entail a broad range of crimes, from exposing a child to a health risk, to the equivalent of child molestation in Georgia.

Kramer's bond conditions allowed him to leave Georgia for New York and New Jersey, for medical treatments and to care for his cancer-stricken mother in Brooklyn, provided he call from a landline with weekly updates. Porter said he's recently learned Kramer's mother had died in March, and that the updates he's been phoning in were made on a cell phone.

Kramer's attorneys have succeed in delaying his trial by arguing his health is too frail for lengthy courtroom sessions. One attorney described Kramer to the Daily Post last year as an "anatomy lesson" in decrepitude, suffering from ailments that include a problematic back, weak lungs and narcolepsy. He was said to get around on a motorized scooter and rely on oxygen tanks.

Last year, a judge agreed to abbreviated trial sessions and specialized seating for Kramer, but the trial was again continued and has hung in limbo since.

Porter said a woman in Florida called out of the blue this week with information Kramer was staying in the motel with the boy. Porter called Milford police and faxed over a copy of Kramer's indictment and bond stipulations.

Officers descended on the Super 8 and found Kramer alone with the minor, the police report states.

What's more, Porter said at least one witness is claiming to have proof Kramer's not as sick as he made out.

"They saw him hiking in a rural area -- no breathing apparatus, no wheelchair, no cane," Porter said.

Information like that could work against Kramer in Gwinnett, Porter said.

"Now there's evidence of what I've been saying all along, that what he says is not true," he said. "I think (Kramer) will have a hard time convincing a judge he needs special accommodations."

In Georgia, Kramer faces up to 60 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Kramer met the victims, ages 13 and 15, when he began dating their mother. He allegedly lured the boys with action figures, science fiction memorabilia and connections with celebrities -- and then 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 initial arrest in August 2000, Kramer's legal saga has been dotted with civil suits, appeals and slippery trial dates.

In 2008, a judge ruled that Kramer could be freed from house arrest provided he report his whereabouts to prosecutors.

Over the years, Kramer's defenders have 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.

DragonCon, the sci-fi/fantasy convention Kramer founded in 1986, has flourished in his absence, billed now as the world's largest.

In 2009, Kramer filed suit against his successor and DragonCon's president, accusing him of hiding financial information to trick Kramer into selling his majority stake in the convention. A Fulton County Superior Court judge dismissed the suit last year.

Grassroots supporters of the convention and personal friends of Kramer have made outcries about his innocence.

In October 2007, a planned sit-in protest at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in support of Kramer never materialized. Friends and Dragon Con enthusiasts had pledged to descend on Gwinnett from as far as New York to raise awareness for his situation, but they later backed out because of permitting issues, leaders told the Daily Post.

In three decades of prosecution, Porter said the case is now the longest he's seen drawn out between arrest and jury trial.