18:25, December 20 239 0 abajournal.com

2017-12-20 18:25:05
Florida lawyer is accused of recording at least 6 sexual encounters while visiting an inmate

A former assistant attorney general in Florida has been accused of taping sexual encounters with an inmate he visited at least six times in an attorney visitation room at the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater.

Police arrested Tampa lawyer Andrew Spark on Sunday as he was about to begin a sexual act with the same inmate, a 28-year-old woman who was not a client, according to a press release. The Tampa Bay Times has stories here and here.

Deputies had wired the attorney meeting room for sound and listened during the encounter. Spark was arrested after exposing himself, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

Spark, who recently turned 55, was charged with exposure of sexual organs, solicitation of prostitution, and introduction of contraband at a detention facility, which relates to the iPad he brought into the room. Spark allegedly told the inmate, who had previously advertised on the Backpage website, that the videos were being uploaded to the internet. He allegedly paid the woman by depositing money into her commissary account

He also solicited sex with another inmate he had previously met at “porn conventions,” according to the press release. Spark allegedly told the 25-year-old inmate he was taping the incidents for a video called Girls in Jail. The woman declined to participate.

In a press conference on Monday, Gualtieri said in-person visitation is usually not allowed at the jail, but lawyers and other professionals are an exception to the policy. Lawyers are allowed to bring tablet devices into the visitation rooms.

Spark “duped the system and betrayed a trust,” Gualtieri said.

Gualtieri said deputies used to check to make sure that lawyers were actually representing inmates they visited at jail. The policy was changed after defense lawyers said they sometimes met people at the request of families or for matters not in court records.

It is possible Spark had sex with other inmates in Pinellas County or elsewhere, the press release said. Officials in Hillsborough County are investigating Spark’s jail visits there, according to the Times.

Spark had worked on consumer protection and racketeering litigation at the attorney general’s office between 2004 and 2011.