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Courtroom intrigue: The Judge, the D.A. and the convicted child molester

Documents filed in Gwinnett County allege that registered sex offender Ed Kramer found evidence that a judge’s computer was hacked. The District Attorney denies having anything to do with it.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A strange case of courthouse intrigue is growing in Gwinnett County, where, according to allegations in a court filing from a criminal defense attorney, a Superior Court judge suspected that District Attorney Daniel Porter was hacking into her county computer. The defense attorney says that the judge launched a clandestine hacking investigation involving a private investigator along with the private eye's employee, Ed Kramer -- the same Ed Kramer who is also a convicted child molester and the co-founder of DragonCon.

According to a document filed in Gwinnett Superior Court on Monday, Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader believed that Porter was hacking into her county computer.

Why? The document doesn't say. But it indicates that Schrader tried to find out if Porter was the hacker. According to the document, she didn’t report her suspicions to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation – instead, she hired Private Investigator T.J. Ward.

Credit: Gwinnett County
Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader hired a private eye to investigate suspected hacking on her computer, according to court documents.

The court filing says Ward assigned one of his employees to monitor and analyze all of the activity on Schrader’s computer remotely, 24 hours per day – and that employee was Kramer, working remotely from his home.

“The data [Kramer found] showed the strong likelihood of an individual or individuals actively accessing Judge Schrader’s computer when the Judge’s office was closed, without her permission or consent,” Kramer’s attorney stated in the court document.

The attorney, Stephen Reba, writes that on Feb. 26, as Kramer was trying to track down the source of the hacking, Kramer was arrested by Lawrenceville Police.  Witnesses had told police they saw Kramer, the convicted child molester and registered sex offender, secretly taking cell phone photos of a child at a medical clinic, without the parents' permission – a violation of his probation. Kramer has insisted that he is innocent and that police later found no evidence on his phone of any crime.

RELATED: Lifelong monitoring of 'sexually dangerous predators' unconstitutional, Georgia Supreme Court rules

Labeled as a “sexually dangerous predator,” Kramer has been convicted on three counts of child molestation dating back to 2000. He was sentenced to 20 years – the first five under house arrest after pleading guilty. The remainder of his sentence was to be served on probation.

Credit: Gwinnett County Jail
Ed Kramer is behind bars after allegedly photographing a child without consent in Lawrenceville. Kramer is a convicted child molester and was on probation before his arrest.

DragonCon, the Atlanta-based sci-fi and fantasy convention, bought out Kramer’s ownership shares in 2013 and he is no longer affiliated with the organization.

RELATED: DragonCon founder arrested again for an alleged sex offense

When Kramer was arrested in February, investigators raided his home in Duluth. They seized all of his computers – which included the data,  gathered from Judge Schrader’s county computer, that Kramer was analyzing to show that the judge’s computer was hacked, according to Kramer's attorney. 

D.A. Danny Porter denied having anything to do with Kramer’s arrest or subsequent raid of his home and equipment. Porter also denied hacking into the judge’s computer. However, Porter confirmed later that he did ask the GBI to investigate the reports of hacking.

In the motion filed on Monday, Kramer’s attorney said the whistle-blowers are now suspects -- the GBI is now investigating Judge Schrader, the private eye and Kramer for possibly accessing Gwinnett County’s computer network without proper authorization.

Kramer’s lawyer also wants Porter to recuse himself from prosecuting Kramer on the latest charges, because the two are now linked in the investigation.

The judge, D.A. and private eye have not responded to 11Alive’s request for comments.

Kramer remains behind bars in the Gwinnett County jail on two charges of being a registered sex offender who intentionally photographed a minor without consent, two charges of probation violation and making false statements.

On Tuesday, he was denied bond and his case was bound over to Superior Court.


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