I wonder what Bob Barr has to say about Ed Kramer’s health these days.
As reported here, back in 2009 Barr, the former Libertarian Presidential Candidate, helped his client Ed Kramer avoid trial — helped him avoid justice — in multiple felony charges for child molestation and aggravated child molestation. Barr and fellow defense attorney Edwin Marger managed to convince a judge in Georgia that Ed Kramer simply could not stand trial because it would be too painful for him to show up in a courtroom because of some obscure, obviously pretend spinal illness.
You know, kind of like fantasy role-playing.
Kramer had first been arrested in 2000 — yes, 2000 — on charges of molesting three boys. The DragonCon founder had managed to “game” the system for nine years. Then Bob Barr took a little break from running for President and representing Baby Doc Duvalier to score a highly unusual deal for his DragonCon client: house arrest on the grounds of his extreme-yet-vague “disability.” Not a plea, mind you: just no trial.
In other words, the three young victims were denied justice. Their rights as citizens were literally stripped from them via legal wizardry performed by someone who claims to represent individual liberties.
Well, some people’s liberties.
Of course, Ed Kramer immediately pushed the envelope and demanded release from house arrest. Of course, the judge granted it, along with the right to travel to another state and to “check in” by telephone. Of course, Kramer didn’t even bother to meet those requirements. Of course, nobody in our ever-so-vigilant court system bothered to follow up. Of course, the victims, and the molestation charges, simply got lost in the shuffle.
Everyone knows how this genre fiction ends: of course, Kramer was arrested in Connecticut this week after being found in a motel room with a 14-year old boy:
A 50-year-old man who is already facing multiple charges of child molestation, was arraigned in Superior Court on a risk of injury to a minor charge Thursday after authorities said they found him staying in a hotel room with a 14-year-old boy earlier this week.
Kramer, a science fiction author and co-founder of the popular sci-fi convention DragonCon, was first charged with multiple charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation by investigators in Gwinnett County, Ga in 2000. The district attorney’s office contacted police in Milford [Connecticut] about the pending charges after receiving a tip Kramer may be in the Connecticut area.
Gwinnett County [Georgia] District Attorney Danny Porter said he was contacted this week by a woman whose daughter is filming a movie in the Hartford-area. Crews started to worry about the way Kramer was acting around the 14-year-old boy, who was hired as an actor in the movie, Porter said.
Kramer claimed he was the child’s guardian, according to police.
On Tuesday, Porter said a crew member contacted Milford police after went to the boy’s hotel room and became concerned when the boy opened the door in a towel. Kramer was allegedly sitting on a bed inside the room, Porter said.
Congratulations, Congressman Barr. Your client seems to have completely overcome his pesky back problem.
Among other gut-wrenching questions, this question remains: why didn’t anyone with the “movie crew” do something about a molestation suspect sharing a motel room with a 14-year old boy? One person did eventually come forward, but what about the rest of them? Surely they knew Kramer — he’s uniquely famous in SciFi circles. What’s the matter with these people? Why didn’t they choose a better role for themselves — Avenger of the Innocent, Protector of the Voiceless, anything but More People who are so Emotionally Arrested They Can’t Bring Themselves to Act to Save a Child?
In my alternative fantasy universe, Convicted-Con, the act of denying victims their day in court would be taken as seriously as the act of denying rights to defendants. In my alternative fantasy universe, law professor bloggers and other activist types would work themselves up in a frenzy whenever some raped child got conned out of their rights by powerful politicians and uncaring pseudo-guardians of the law.
In my alternative fantasy universe, when a lawyer gets his sex offender client off on claims of disability, and the disability turns out to be fake, there would be consequences for the lawyer:
Kramer’s attorneys [had] succeed in delaying his trial by arguing his health [was] 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. . . Kramer was staying in the motel with the boy. . . Officers descended on the Super 8 and found Kramer alone with the minor, the police report states.
What’s more, [Danny] 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.
Are we actually supposed to believe that Bob Barr and his partner, Edwin Marger, knew nothing about Ed Kramer’s real physical condition when they claimed he was too sick to attend court in 2009, or that he had basically fled what little court-ordered control they had managed to wrangle for him under extremely questionable circumstances? Well, here’s some clues:
Here’s Ed Kramer in either 2007 or 2008. He claimed he was too sick to stand trial for molestation, but he looks like he was having a really good time campaigning for his lawyer, Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr. If anyone knows more about this photo, please contact me.
Here’s Ed Kramer hanging out at DragonCon when he was supposed to be housebound and in such serious pain from a “spinal injury” that he couldn’t stay awake for trial. Hundreds of people saw him hanging out at a hotel in downtown Atlanta after midnight, chilling with some guy in latex shorts carrying a bongo drum. What, they couldn’t pick up a phone when they saw the following story in the newspaper a few months later? You know . . . acting to protect kids from getting raped, like their favorite superhero might do?
Edward Kramer told Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers he was uncertain he could stay awake and alert enough to assist in his own defense. A spinal injury makes it difficult to sit, stand or breathe, and he is chronic pain, he said. “I understand your diseases are degenerative,” the judge told Kramer. “I do not believe your ability [to stand trial] is going to improve.” . . . The judge suggested a trial schedule with three breaks a day ranging from 30 to 90 minutes. Beyers also tried to accommodate Kramer by offering to set up a room outside the courtroom for him to lie down in during the breaks and providing an orthopedic chair for him in court.
But he wasn’t too sick to party with female Klingons until the inter-galactical cows came home. Shame on Bob Barr for using his influence to set this up. Really, shame on him.
And double shame on his partner, Ed Marger, who classily had this to say about his client’s most recent arrest in a motel room with a young child found wearing nothing but a towel:
I don’t know if this was a 14-year-old child or a 41-year-old midget.
Nice. What a great way to say: “I’m sorry for playing sleazy games with the lives of children and degrading rape victims in the newspaper while also insulting short people and homosexuals.”
Here’s a picture of Marger, pseudo-cornpone, et. al. That depressed-looking thing sitting on his desk is a taxidermied groundhog: his other moldy client, “Baby” Doc Duvalier, must have been busy that day.
There are a thousand different freak shows in the big city. Or as Dashiell Hammett used to say, well, I can’t remember what he said. But the gist of it is this: grey people in grey cities with grey outlooks produce grey moral results. It takes a village not to notice the guy in the wizard outfit and long black gloves slipping away with the little kid who should have been tucked away safely in bed instead of hovering in a grungy convention hotel lobby looking for someone to look up to.
And don’t ever, ever expect a defense attorney to do the right thing.