Lawyer paid jail inmates for sex, sheriff says
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says a Tampa attorney “duped” the system and betrayed trust to film sexual acts with female jail inmates.
Andrew Spark, 54, of Spark Law Group in Tampa, was caught exposing himself to an inmate after investigators learned he was meeting female inmates who were not his clients at the Pinellas County jail and filming sexual acts with them, according to Gualtieri.
Gualtieri said his office received information in late November that Spark was using his position as an attorney to meet with inmates at the jail and video oral sex with them in exchange for money.
Officials do not believe any of the inmates involved were clients of Spark’s, according to the sheriff’s office.
“That’s why I say he duped the system,” Gualtieri said.
Sunday, investigators learned Spark would return to the jail to film another video and arrested him as he was about to begin, Gualtieri said.
The jail normally does not allow electronic devices but extends a professional courtesy to attorneys, Gualtieri said in a press conference. The rooms where attorneys meet clients are private and do not have surveillance.
Gualtieri said Spark and one female inmate had sexual contact at least six times between June and December of 2017.
Spark was charged with soliciting for prostitution, exposure of sexual organs and possession of contraband in a county detention facility. He was also arrested for bringing his personal iPad to the jail without advanced notice or consent, according to ABC Action News.
He bonded out Sunday night. Spark may face additional charges, Gualtieri said, as the investigation is ongoing.
He did not speak with investigators and requested an attorney. Spark, however, told WFLA News Channel 8 he planned to release a statement.
It’s unclear how many victims there are, but Gualtieri said there are at least two, with potential victims at several other jails in the Tampa Bay and central Florida areas. Gualtieri declined during the press conference to specify additional jails.
Gualtieri said the inmates will not be charged.
At this time, the sheriff’s office does not have plans to change any procedures on attorney visitation but the incident “certainly raises concerns” which may prompt a review of protocols, Gualtieri said.