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Dragon Con co-founder pleads guilty to child molestation

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A founder of the nationally known Dragon Con science fiction and fantasy convention pleaded guilty in Georgia on Monday to molesting three boys and will serve time under house arrest in a case that began with his arrest 13 years ago.

Ed Kramer, who helped launch Dragon Con in 1987 but is no longer associated with the annual event that brings celebrities and science fiction fans to Atlanta, was sentenced to 34 months of house arrest for child molestation, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.

He also must pay $100,000 to each of the three victims, Porter said.

Lawyers were preparing to make legal motions at the start of the long-delayed trial on Monday when Kramer decided to enter a guilty plea, according to Porter.

The prosecutor said he agreed to the plea so Kramer's victims would not have to testify.

Kramer, 52, received credit for 26 months he already spent in jail, Porter said. If convicted of all charges at trial, Kramer had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Two of the victims are the sons of a suburban Atlanta woman who was Kramer's girlfriend in 2000, the year the alleged crime occurred, Porter said.

A third boy came forward in 2003 and accused Kramer of molesting him, the prosecutor said.

Kramer was one of six people who founded Dragon Con, according to the convention's website. The event attracts more than 50,000 people each year and features a parade with fans dressed in costumes.

Actors William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy of the "Star Trek" television show and movie series have appeared at the convention.

Kramer was arrested in 2000. His trial was delayed by a series of health problems and legal challenges, Porter said.

He was out on bond for much of the last 13 years before he was jailed again in 2011 after he was found in a Connecticut hotel room with a 14-year-old boy, Porter said.

Kramer's attorney, McNeill Stokes, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Leslie Adler and Andrew Hay)

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