Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
By Times Staff Writer
Published November 28, 2007
Cleanup crew discovers body lying in ditch
An inmate picking up trash around Al Lopez Park discovered the body of a deceased man lying in a watery ditch Tuesday, police said. A cleanup crew from the Department of Corrections spotted the man lying in 1 to 2 feet of water about 2 p.m. and flagged a passing Hillsborough sheriff's deputy, who called 911. The body was that of a white man in his 30s or 40s, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said. He was wearing white tennis shoes, jeans and a white T-shirt topped by a button-down shirt. But he had no identification on him. The body showed no visible signs of trauma, Davis said.
Charges dropped against 'sex slave'
"Master Drew's Slavery Contract" is a 10-page compact that defines two roles: master and sex slave. Authorities say Andrew Kobak was "Master Drew." His role is self-explanatory and led to his arrest in July. The role of "slave" fell to a 19-year-old bipolar and schizophrenic woman who met Kobak online. Deputies freed the woman when they raided Kobak's Jasmine Lake Estates home. Now prosecutors have redefined her role in the case: they say she is a victim of Kobak, and a witness against him. That's why the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office recently dropped a misdemeanor charge of prostitution against her. The identity of the victim is being withheld by the Times because of the nature of the case. Kobak, 35, faces 16 felony counts of deriving proceeds from prostitution and one count each of felony manufacturing of marijuana, felony possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor count of maintaining a place of prostitution.
Thousands taken from 2 civic groups
Margaret L. Platt, 51, was charged Tuesday with two counts of grand theft, accused of plundering the bank accounts of the Belleair Civic Association and the Wonders Foundation. In total, she is accused of misappropriating roughly $34,000 from the Civic Association and about $17,000 from the Wonders Foundation. Belleair police Lt. Bill Sohl said so much money was taken from the Wonders Foundation that its overdrawn bank account had to be closed. Platt, who had been treasurer of the civic association was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.