A lawyer from Maryland, who also is a children’s balloon entertainer, is accused of traveling to Central Florida in the hopes of having sex with who he thought was a 14-year-old boy. He has asked a federal judge in Orlando to remove his plea agreement because he says he does not remember pleading in the case. He says he was also threatened to sign the legal document that detailed his guilty plea.
The man in question is Howard Scott Kalin. Kalin can be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. He filed a 46-page, hand-written motion on Thursday in Orlando federal court. The motion claims that he has a diminished mental capacity, malicious prosecution and ineffective counsel.
Last year is when he signed his plea agreement, which admitted that he went to Lake County in order to have sex with a boy that he met using an online advertisement. Well, he at least thought it was a boy. The entered the plea in front of a judge at a hearing.
The advertisement was posted by a Lake County sheriff’s detective on the section of ‘Men Seeking Men’ on the website Craigslist. The advertisement was labeled ‘bored nephew.’
Kalin responded to the advertisement while staying in Central Florida for a balloon artist convention, according to prosecutors. He then traded messages online with the detective, who posed as the uncle of the boy.
A meeting at a Clermont restaurant was arranged by Kalin between the two. On May 23 he traveled to Central Florida only to be arrested outside of the establishment. He then told the detectives that he wanted to aid the boy explore intimacy.
Kalin wrote about being suicidal, anxious, constantly crying while in jail and at court proceedings and stressed in his motion. Kalin claims that he has a diminished mental state and is “severely depressed and not emotionally stable.”
Kalin is now claiming that he did not enter his guilty plea in a “clear, informed, voluntary, educated manner, without pressure or coercion, did not possess a reasonable degree of rational or factual understanding as to the proceedings against him, and did not have effective assistance of counsel.”
Kalin claims that his attorney threatened him into signing the plea agreement. He also says that he has “no clear recollection of the plea hearing, no clear recollection of questions asked to defendant, no clear recollection of defendant’s responses, if any, and absolutely no conscious recollection of any matter discussed during this hearing.”