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OK now that Ed Kramer’s trial is over and he has pleaded guilty however an Alford Plea which is where one pleads guilty without admitting actually wrong doing, I am going to speak about the whole messy matter.

A few things you need to know before you read this.

I have known Ed since we were both at Emory University. I was an undergraduate and he was in the grad school. I went out on a couple of dates with Ed but just didn’t feel right about it so we agreed that we were friends and went on our merry ways.

I have been to Dragon*Con since about the third one I think. I have been the tech director of Dragon*Con back in the 90s. I still go to Dragon Con. I have lots of friends involved in Dragon Con. I have known Pat Henry for just about as long as I have known Ed. So Dragon Con is close and dear to my heart.

When I heard that Ed was accused of child molestation, I had a hard time believing it. I knew Ed. I couldn’t see it. But that is the way of sociopaths that they can make themselves look innocent and normal in the eyes of everyone else.

But as the years went on and various things came out, I came to the conclusion that I was as bamboozled as everyone else who thought that they knew him. The more he fought going to trial, the more I realized what I though I knew about him was false.

And that is hard to swallow. You think you know someone and then you discover that you didn’t really.

Dragon*Con has become Dragon Con and removed Ed from the equation entirely. Because of Georgia Contract law, this was a lot harder to do than it would have been in other states. I can’t tell you everything I know here because I have been told in confidence but I can say that the board of Dragon Con has been working for several years to separate Ed from the convention. They couldn’t say anything one way or the other because then Ed would have sued them yet again and start the whole process over of trying to separate Ed again. Georgia law has a provision that no company can be dissolved while there are suits against said company. You can do the math.

So after 13 years he pled guilty and was sentenced to three years house arrest. There is a lot of uproar about the fact that he has house arrest. May I remind you that if he is under house arrest then all his medical expenses (which are apparently myriad) are his own not the state. And you know that they are going to be watching him like a hawk. He crosses the line and his butt is in jail for the next 25 years.

He can never go to a convention again since he is now a registered sex offender. They are probably going to be monitoring his calls and computer activity if he has any. He is in a box and will be there for the next three years. After that his activities will be monitored since he is basically on probation for the rest of his life. He has to pay restitution to his victims, which will cut into any money he has left along with his lawyer bills, which are massive by this point. And it leaves him open to any and all civil suits against him, which will cost him dearly one way or another.

This story is not over for him but it is for Dragon Con which is now 100% Ed free.

Personally I feel a bit used and dirty from the whole thing. I keep trying to see what I missed. How I didn’t know what he was at the time. I go over it in my mind and try to figure out what I could have done which is in all honesty nothing. And that is the scary thing, I didn’t know and couldn’t see what was going on. It makes me question so many things.

I am grateful that this whole mess has had some form of a conclusion. I hope that the victims get one as well.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
I've known Ed about as long as you Kath, although I only worked with him in '89, '90, '91 and Atlanta Fantasy Fair that he tried to start. IIRC, there were always rumors about Ed and child molestation. I didn't really know what to think. Of course, I've also heard that same charge leveled at Marshal Smith, Keith Bohn, Michael Morcock, and many others. I tended to dismiss it totally when it was only rumors.

I'll admit that I haven't been to DC in many years, mostly because of lack of money. While I'm surprised, I'm not stunned, nor am I upset. It is what it is. And I've also known others who were charged, plead Nolo Contendre and had their asses in Jail for many years because of it. I hate that it's a thing, but it is where their life led them. I'll mourn the death of what I thought about them, but that's all.
Dec. 5th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
The Verdict
I don't know Ed, and I've never been to DC, and probably never will. But I'm former LEO, and I go to quite a few SF and Fantasy Cons, mid-Atlantic area. And have, for the past 30 years. So I'm not exactly a neo at the con world, and I DO know law enforcement.
The child molester/sex offender charge is THE hardest one to fight, and one of the easiest to bring against someone. And, as the old saying goes about wrestling a pig, whether you win or lose, you WILL get dirty. BOTH of you - the alleged victim, and the alleged offender. Because whether any of it is true or not, it IS a dirty business.
When you add in the entire controversy around cosplay and the ROTTEN treatment people get about "hall costumes" and that entire genre of fandom, it gets worse, not better. All it takes is ONE person, of Either Gender, and ANY orientation, to make things bad for someone at a con.
And yes, there are sexual predators at conventions. Anyone who has attended more than one or two cons has seen it happen, to one degree or another. The people who organize the cons try to weed out the ones who go beyond the leers and comments to the physical, but unless the victim speaks out, or the offender is caught in the act, there's not much the committee can do.
Fortunately, in this case, IF Ed was actually guilty (I don't know, I wasn't there, I don't know anything about it, I can NOT judge), justice has been served. If so, then ONE predator has been removed. But we, as a fan community, must do better - for ourselves.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )