Dragon*Con recently posted an official statement regarding its co-founder Edward Kramer’s financial relationship to the popular convention. Kramer is currently facing child-molestation charges that date back to 2000.
In their statement, Dragon*Con admits that they “are as troubled by this circumstance as anyone else,” but admit that Kramer remains a stockholder in the show despite their wishes to the contrary.
There has been a number of people in the science-fiction/comic community calling for a boycott of Dragon*Con based on Kramer’s involvement with the show; they include author Nancy A. Collins and Stephen Bissette. Their reasoning is: if there is any chance that Kramer can financially benefit from Dragon*Con, attending the show either as a guest or a fan would be unconscionable.
An expose in Atlanta Magazine entitled “In The Shadows” breaks down the 2000 child molestation charges against Kramer:
“…The previous day, before Kramer had arrived, word had gotten around the set that he was accused of molesting three boys in Georgia years before. Although Kramer hadn’t been convicted, Vallas felt concerned enough to return to the motel after dropping off the boy’s mother. The boy answered the door of room 101 holding a Styrofoam cup, his hair combed. He was wearing just a towel, Vallas later told police. Kramer was standing toward the back of the room, his camera equipment nearby. Outside, Vallas called Phillips, who’d been Googling Kramer. At seven that morning, she called her mother, who phoned Georgia authorities. By noon Milford police had Kramer in custody. He was charged with ’risk of injury to a minor,’ a broad statute under Connecticut law that covers sexual assault, placing a child in physical danger, and a range of other crimes.”
Supporters of Kramer point out that he has yet to be convicted of an actual crime — though his detractors like Collins point out that he has “stalled” this case for a very long time in the courts. Some Dragon*Con fans opine that though they do not support Kramer, the convention that they so love should not be blamed for the alleged actions of just one man connected to it. And Dragon*Con itself, in their recent Facebook message, assured the public that “we will continue to strive to provide the best possible experience for our attendees, volunteers, partners and invited guests alike.”
But in a news cycle that continues to be flush with new stories and developments about alleged conspiracies to commit and cover up acts of child molestation — the ongoing Vatican troubles, Penn State, the Boy Scouts, BBC’s Jimmy Savile, even the guy who provided the voice of Elmo on “Sesame Street — it doesn’t seem that the Kramer story will go away any time soon. Does the geek/comics community need this sort of spotlight?
And are there other cases like Kramer’s lying dormant and undiscovered within the labyrinthine worlds of fandom, threatening to suddenly jump out of the bog and into the hot lights of a media frenzy?