Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"A Balloon Entertainer And Lawyer" Consents To Disbarment

A Maryland attorney has consented to disbarment as a result of a conviction described on the web page of the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida:

U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces today that U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway sentenced Howard Scott Kalin (48, Essex, Maryland) to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. As part of his sentence, the court also ordered Kalin to serve a 20-year term of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence. Kalin pled guilty on September 14, 2011.

According to court documents, on January 12, 2011, a detective with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office posted an ad in the Orlando Craigslist portal personals. The headline of the post read “bored nephew.” Kalin responded to the ad, at which time the undercover detective told Kalin that his nephew was 14 years old. Kalin responded, requesting a picture of the minor. The undercover detective sent a picture of a boy appearing to be between the ages of 12 to13, which was actually an age-regressed image of a male adult police officer. After commenting that the child was “cute,” Kalin sent the undercover detective a picture of himself wearing a tank top. Kalin wrote that he was at a hotel at Disney and asked the undercover detective if he wanted to meet with him. Kalin continued to exchange e-mails with the undercover detective, trying to induce him to bring the 14-year-old to Disney, to engage in sexual activity with him. The undercover detective replied that the child was not available to meet at that time. Kalin, a balloon entertainer and lawyer who lived in Essex, Maryland, was in Orlando, attending the Florida SuperJam balloon fest.

After returning to Maryland, Kalin continued to communicate with the undercover detective through May 23, 2011. During his communications over the internet and by cell phone, Kalin repeatedly affirmed his intent to return to Florida to engage in sexual activity with the 14-year-old boy. Eventually, Kalin arranged to meet with the boy in Orlando on May 23, 2011. He also stated that he wanted to buy the boy a present and suggested a basketball. Kalin flew from Baltimore to Orlando. On May 23, 2011, he called the undercover detective and said that he would meet him and the minor at a restaurant in Clermont, Florida. Kalin then went to WalMart and bought a basketball and some lubricant.

Later that day, Kalin arrived at the restaurant and got out of his car, carrying the WalMart bag with the basketball. The undercover detective met Kalin outside of the restaurant and placed him under arrest. Agents located Kalin’s luggage, a box of condoms, lubricant, a camera, and two thumb drives in Kalin’s rental car. Kalin admitted to law enforcement officers that he traveled to Florida from Maryland to engage in sexual activity with the boy.

(Mike Frisch)


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