Baltimore Co. attorney, magician arrested in child sex sting in Fla.

A 47-year-old attorney and magician who runs a children's entertainment company in Baltimore County was arrested Monday and charged with flying to Florida to have sex with a 14-year-old boy, who turned out to be an undercover detective, according to police.

Howard Scott Kalin, who lives in the 1700 block of Anne Ave. in Essex, was being held without bail by the Lake County, Fla., Sheriff's Office. Police said he runs "Funhouse Entertainment," in the 2200 block of York Road in Lutherville.

Members of the Lake County Sheriff's Office cyber crime division said in a statement that Kalin contacted them in January through an Internet chat line, using the name "Ben Aldridge." The detectives posed both as a 14-year-old boy and as the boy's caregiver, the police statement said.

"Mr. Kalin also told undercover detectives that he would bring a basketball to the child and planned on having sex with the boy during his visit," according to the police statement. On Monday, police said Kalin travelled to Florida and was arrested at an undisclosed meeting place.

According to an arrest affidavit, Kalin showed up holding a basketball and a movie. The court document also says the suspect talked with undercover police about close encounters with other children, but it does not indicate whether they were connected with his entertainment business.

Kalin was being processed Monday night at a jail in Lake County. A booking officer said he was being charged with one count of traveling to meet a minor for sexual activity, two counts of using a computer for prohibited purposes and one count of attempted lewd or lascivious battery.

In advertisements on the Internet, Kalin describes himself as a criminal defense attorney and he lists his home address as his office. No one answered the phone at his home Monday night. On the "Funhouse Entertainment" Internet site, Kalin describes himself as an "accomplished entertainer," a lawyer and the owner of the magic house.

"We provide full entertainment and event-planning services from New York, New York, to Richmond, Virginia, and nationwide!" the Funhouse site says, noting it caters to "every type of family-oriented entertainment for every type of event!"

The Florida court affidavit says Kalin is associated with two other businesses in the Baltimore area, which have reported combined annual sales of $220,000. Police also said that Kalin travels frequently along the East Coast.

peter.hermann@baltsun.com

The Baltimore Sun's media partner, WJZ-TV, contributed to this article.

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