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'Master Drew' gets probation in sex slave case

Andrew Michael Kobak, a.k.a. “Master Drew,” right, with his attorney, Denis deVlaming, struck a plea bargain and received three years’ probation Wednesday. Kobak, 35, was accused of enlisting a 19-year-old woman to be his sex slave.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Andrew Michael Kobak, a.k.a. “Master Drew,” right, with his attorney, Denis deVlaming, struck a plea bargain and received three years’ probation Wednesday. Kobak, 35, was accused of enlisting a 19-year-old woman to be his sex slave.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The e-mail was poorly written, sexually explicit and utterly disgusting.

In it, a 19-year-old woman shared her perverted fantasies with Andrew Michael Kobak, who was arrested last year for sexually enslaving her under "Master Drew's Slavery Contract." That agreement said she had to wake up at 7 a.m., make coffee, wear a collar and leash and submit to humiliation and the cane.

But there are some things not even "Master Drew" can stomach.

"You really need help," he responded to her explicit e-mail. "You are very sick for thinking I would want to do that."

That e-mail exchange was weeks after Kobak's arrest. He once faced up to 90 years in prison — but walked out of court a free man on Wednesday.

Kobak struck a plea bargain with the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office in which he received three years' probation.

So what happened to the state's case?

The state's perception of the woman changed. Once, prosecutors called her a victim.

They don't call her that anymore.

• • •

The woman, now 20, alleged in July 2007 that Kobak forced her to be his "sex slave" and perform sexual acts for other, paying men. Kobak was charged with 17 prostitution-related offenses.

At one time she was also a defendant, cited for misdemeanor prostitution. The State Attorney's Office later decided she was a victim and dropped the charge. But now the state won't even call her a reliable witness.

Her credibility began to erode, Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett said, after she made an allegation of sexual abuse against a relative that she later admitted was false.

Nor could investigators find the men who she said paid Kobak to have sex with her.

At first she told investigators Kobak "manipulated" her into being his sex slave, Bartlett said. But now the state believes their relations were consensual.

Kobak's attorneys also found three witnesses who said the woman was not at the defendant's house on dates and times she accused him of abusing her.

And there's those sexually explicit e-mails she sent Kobak weeks after the bust.

"She said certain things to the police when she was arrested," said Kobak's attorney, Denis deVlaming, "and a lot of that information turned out to be incorrect, inaccurate or, quite frankly, fabricated."

But the woman told authorities she has been sexually abused and suffers from severe psychological problems. The St. Petersburg Times is withholding her identity because of these issues.

The state would only prosecute charges witnessed by others.

"Unfortunately, as is often the case in these bizarre sexual scenarios, you end up having (a witness) who has a great deal of baggage themselves," Bartlett said, "and then the next evaluation you have to make is, how is this going to appear to a jury?"

• • •

Kobak, 35, pleaded guilty Wednesday to deriving proceeds from prostitution, maintaining a place of prostitution and possession of marijuana.

The judge ordered that he have no access to a computer or the Internet, save for work. He cannot possess or view pornography. He cannot contact the woman. He must submit a DNA sample. He must continue counseling.

Now a traveling salesman living in Pennsylvania, Kobak cannot leave that state save for work.

Adjudication of guilt was withheld, sparing him from becoming a convicted felon.

Kobak left court without comment — but not before the judge put "Master Drew" in his place.

"I'd just like to say there's nothing masterful about being a pimp," Circuit Judge Jack Day told Kobak. "We have robbers, burglars, muggers, all kinds of gangsters come through here.

"But there's nothing more contemptible than a pimp."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6236.

'Master Drew' gets probation in sex slave case 07/16/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:59am]
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