Ed Kramer — co-founder of DragonCon, convicted child molester and never one to shy away from a legal battle — is challenging his new designation as a “sexually dangerous predator.”
Such a designation would require Kramer, who has not been involved with Atlanta’s popular science fiction convention for many years, to be under electronic monitoring “for the remainder of his ... natural life.”
The 56-year-old is asking a judge to review the case, arguing that one of the members of the state’s Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, which handed down the classification, should have recused himself.
Kramer pleaded to three counts of child molestation in Dec. 2013, some 13 years after his original indictment by a Gwinnett County grand jury. The plea agreement sentenced him to 20 years, with the first 34 months to be served under home confinement at his house off Old Norcross Road near Duluth. (The arrangement was thanks in part to a litany of medical issues Kramer suffers from and the deluge of complaints and requests he flooded the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office with during his short incarceration at its jail).
The remainder of Kramer’s sentence was to be served on probation.
Kramer was also required to register as a sex offender and, in December, Georgia’s Sexual Offender Registration Review Board placed Kramer under a new classification: “sexually dangerous predator,” the ranking with the highest perceived risk for recidivism.
Law requires “SDPs” to be monitored by GPS for the rest of their lives.
But the legal team for Kramer, who was convicted of sexually assaulting three young boys between 1996 and 2000, filed a legal challenge last week in Fulton County Superior Court. The petition filed by attorney Stephen Reba argues that Kramer’s classification should be reviewed because Rich Vandever, who works in the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, is a member of the SORRB.
That’s a no-no, Reba argues, because of a separate piece of ongoing litigation in which Kramer’s team claims that District Attorney Danny Porter and Judge Karen E. Beyers conspired to force him into his 2013 plea.
The DA’s office has been recused from representing the county in that case and an outside judge has been appointed.
"The participation of Mr. Porter's office in imposing this new classification of 'sexually dangerous predator' on Mr. Kramer was entirely inappropriate and illegal," Reba wrote in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "For Mr. Kramer, who is approaching the end of his second decade of fighting for his innocence, this represents yet another instance of a prosecutor utilizing his substantial power to gain an unfair advantage."
Tracy Alvord, the executive director of the SORRB, confirmed that Vandever was one of 13 board members who voted on Kramer’s case — but said he “was not aware that the case was Mr. Kramer.”
“All cases are identified by number so board members are not provided the offender’s name or identifying information (county of conviction for example),” Alvord wrote in an email. “This is to ensure objectivity.”
Alvord added that board members review cases prior to their meeting and there was “no discussion regarding Mr. Kramer’s case prior to voting.” She said the vote on Kramer’s classification was unanimous.
Alvord declined to comment on Kramer’s case itself.
Porter, the district attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.
- Here's what the Gwinnett Place area may (sort of) look like (one day)
- Owner, developer to split disputed $400K in Gwinnett movie studio flap
- In deeply diverse Gwinnett, white residents confront minority status
Never miss a minute of what's happening in Gwinnett politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.