Sigh. It’s way too close to Christmas for me to be outraged about
anything, but I wanted to write about a recent event before we got
any closer to the day. Then, again, as previously noted, outrage
is sort of my default setting, so letting it go for an entire week
or two really an option for me.
Atlanta. Less than a week after receiving one of the most obscenely
lenient sentences in recent memory, Ed Kramer, Dragon*Con founder
and convicted child molester was already trying to game the system
for more leniency. I guess a guy can get cocky when he manages to
delay his trial for thirteen years and still find time to molest or
attempt to molest additional victims during those thirteen years.
Dragon*Con must be so proud of him.
To bring you up to speed and bring you the latest news, we turn to
an excerpt from a Gwinnett Daily Post story by Tyler Estep that ran
on December 11:
Kramer, the co-founder of sci-fi convention Dragon Con, entered a
negotiated guilty plea Monday, Dec. 2, ending a child molestation
case that had dragged on for more than 13 years. As part of the
conditions of his plea — and the product of his alleged litany of
medical ailments — the 52-year-old was essentially sentenced to 34
months of house arrest to be followed by 15 years of probation.
The plea granted Kramer the ability to leave for court-approved
actions like medical appointments, religious services and grocery
shopping. Within four days, though, his attorney had filed an
emergency motion requesting even more latitude.
“It is requested a procedure be established whereby the monitoring
service of the Defendant’s GPS ankle monitor be notified when the
Defendant’s (sic) is to participate in the specified permitted
activity,” attorney McNeill Stokes wrote.
In English, the motion basically asks that Kramer be able to leave
his home on Duluth’s Honeycomb Way by alerting the private company
monitoring his movements — not through any approval by the courts
or probation system.
The idea of Kramer being allowed to leave his house for medical
appointments, religious services and grocery shopping is repugnant
to me. Without supervision by the police, each of those exceptions
to house arrest would give this monster access to children. Even
if you are so naive as to believe Kramer’s health is as poor as he
has claimed, even if you are so asinine as to believe his desire to
attend religious services is anything more than a sham, why let him
do his own grocery shopping? Make him use a delivery service and,
by doing so, further limit his contact with potential new victims.
The idea of Kramer getting to leave home for medical appointments,
religious services and grocery shopping without prior approval by
the courts or probation system is even more repugnant to me. He’s
a vicious predator who should be locked in a cage - the smaller the
better - for the rest of his life. He shouldn’t be able to prowl
the streets freely by making a simple phone call.
The District Attorney says Kramer’s plea agreement doesn’t give the
sex offender the “de facto freedom” to leave his house for any of
the stated purposes only that such permission might be granted in
certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the District Attorney went
on to describe the various means by which Kramer might be allowed
to leave his house and not one of them strikes me as even remotely
a good idea. Whether it’s because the District Attorney fears new
frivolous lawsuits by Kramer or whether Kramer has the “friends in
high places” many believe he has, any freedom granted this monster
is simply more proof of Kramer’s ability to manipulate the system
to his own perverted benefit.
Kramer lives half a mile from an elementary school and a mere two
miles from a park. While “his computer and other electronics are
subject to search,” Estep’s story states Kramer’s Internet activity
“will not be monitored directly.”
The District Attorney keeps saying Kramer is a sure bet to violate
his plea agreement and be sent back to prison for several decades.
Put aside the certainty that sending Kramer back to prison would
trigger new lawsuits. What the courts have done with this lenient
sentence, what the courts may do if they grant Kramer more freedom,
amounts to their rolling the dice and placing children in jeopardy.
That would be stupid and just plain wrong.
In other Dragon*Con-related outrage...
I’m still waiting to hear the other founders of Dragon*Con or any
of Kramer’s defenders make public apologies to Nancy Collins. They
were quick to vilify Collins when she spoke out against Kramer and
the culture of Dragon*Con sleaze that enabled Kramer to avoid even
imperfect justice for so many years. Yet, somehow, they just can’t
find the time, the courage and the decency to apologize to Collins.
That’s often the case with a true hero like Collins. She did the
right thing for the right reasons. She wasn’t expecting to receive
accolades for doing the right thing. She wasn’t even expecting any
apologies. She did the right thing because it was the right thing.
The founders of Dragon*Con and the defenders of Kramer look mighty
small next to Collins. That’s why they have no choice but to look
up to Collins.
The rest of us look up to Collins because her courage and passion
inspired us to stand with her. It was and remains one of the best
decisions of my life.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella