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Sheriff: Tampa lawyer used Pinellas jail to film porn videos

Attorney Andrew B. Spark, 54, was arrested Sunday on a felony charge of introduction or possession of contraband in a county detention facility and misdemeanor charges of solicitation for prostitution and exposure of sexual organs, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. He was booked into the same jail at 14400 49th St. N where deputies said the incidents took place. More charges could be filed as the investigation continues. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published Dec. 19, 2017

A Tampa lawyer had sexual relations with a female inmate inside the Pinellas County Jail several times in a private room reserved for attorneys to meet with their clients, investigators said.

He is also accused of soliciting sex from another incarcerated woman, according to deputies, offering to put money in her commissary account and saying he was filming the acts for a pornographic video titled Girls in Jail.

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Andrew B. Spark, 54, may have performed the same scheme with multiple women in county jails across the Tampa Bay region and Central Florida.

In Pinellas, the sheriff said, Spark lied and said he was representing the women to gain access to the room, which does not have recording equipment and only has a small window in the door.

It's set aside for criminal defense lawyers to confer with their clients. But the sheriff said there is no evidence Spark represented the women he visited.

"He duped the system because he came in there representing himself as a lawyer," Gualtieri said at a news conference Monday. "There's something that is sacrosanct about that lawyer-client relationship, and that's why we give great consideration and, frankly, deference to it."

Spark was arrested Sunday on a felony charge of introduction or possession of contraband in a county detention facility and misdemeanor charges of solicitation for prostitution and exposure of sexual organs, according to arrest reports. He was booked into the same jail at 14400 49th St. N, where deputies say the incidents took place. More charges could be filed as the investigation continues.

Neither woman faces charges in the case.

The first woman, 28, met Spark when he paid her for sex after finding her prostitution ads online before she went to jail, the sheriff said. The lawyer met the second woman, 25, last year at a porn convention in Tampa, according to deputies.

He engaged in sexual acts with the 28-year-old, who is detained on drug charges, at least six times between June and December, investigators said. Spark would film the woman in the private room, the sheriff said, and started by asking her to narrate sexual fantasies. Spark would stand in front of the door, blocking the window while she performed a sex act, Gualtieri said.

Spark deposited $30 to $40 in the woman's commissary account at a time.

"It was really ridiculously nominal amounts," Gualtieri said. "But when you're in jail those ridiculously nominal accounts add up."

Most visitors are not allowed in-person meetings with inmates, and people who enter the jail are generally not permitted to have electronics. But some professionals, including lawyers, are given exceptions. The introduction of contraband charge, however, stems from Spark failing to give advance notice for the iPad he used to record the women, according to an arrest report.

Years ago, Gualtieri said, deputies checked court records to make sure a lawyer was affiliated with an inmate's case before granting access. But the sheriff said he eliminated that policy after attorneys pushed back, saying they sometimes visited for consultations requested by families or other matters not spelled out in court documents.

Someone tipped off deputies to Spark's behavior, the sheriff said. In November, investigators said, he met with the second woman, who was jailed while facing a federal charge connected to a child pornography case.

On Sunday, the sheriff said, investigators learned Spark was returning to the jail to engage in sex acts with her. They wired the attorney-client room for sound, he said, and listened as Spark began to record. When he exposed himself, Gualtieri said, investigators burst in and arrested him.

Spark was freed from jail on Sunday after posting $5,300 bail. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

He was admitted to the Florida Bar in October 1991, according to Bar records, and works at Spark Law. He once worked for the Florida Attorney General's Office as an assistant attorney general but quit in 2011, one day after publishing a memo about perceived problems in the office's economic crimes unit. Spark raised concerns about how the department handled foreclosure cases and said two former staffers left to work for companies that were being investigated.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Pam Bondi at the time dismissed the memo and said Spark was the subject of an internal investigation regarding use of a work computer to do personal business and "repeatedly failing to meet performance standards." That complaint was closed when he quit.

Spark has no disciplinary history, a Bar spokeswoman said.

Gualtieri said he's not planning to change policies for how attorneys meet with clients at the jail. He said investigators have not found any videos on the Internet uploaded by Spark, who declined to speak to detectives.

"He wouldn't talk," Gualtieri said. "He said he wanted a lawyer."

Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Zachary T. Sampson at zsampson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8804.

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