GOP mega donor found guilty of sex trafficking children

A former GOP mega donor has been convicted of sex trafficking underaged girls, CBS News reported.

Anton Lazzaro was initially charged with seven counts alleging “commercial sex acts” that took place in 2020 with five underaged girls ranging from ages 15 to 16. After the jury deliberated for a little over three hours on Friday, Lazzaro was found guilty on all counts.

Lazzaro admitted to allegations that he paid teenagers for sex with money and gifts, but denied “recruiting” them, according to CBS News, which added that he “put his hand to his face and shook his head when he heard the verdict read.”

During his time as a GOP operative, Lazzaro had donated around $190,000 to Minnesota Republicans.

When FBI agents raided Lazzaro’s $875,000 luxury condo on Minneapolis back in 2020, they seized nearly $400,000 in cash, foreign currency, bars believed to be gold, a GPS tracker, thumb drives, laptops, tablets, and multiple cell phones. A Ferrari was also seized.

Through a spokesperson, Lazzaro released a statement expressing his disappointment in the verdict.

“Mr. Lazzaro continues to believe he was selectively prosecuted for his political activities. The unusual application of this federal sex trafficking statute to his activities is frighteningly broad, conflating what is nothing more than arguably an act of prostitution with federal sex trafficking,” the statement said. “He believes he has strong grounds for appeal, and he will vigorously seek reversal of his conviction. Mr. Lazzaro trusts he will be vindicated.”

In a press release from Minnesota’s District Attorney’s Office, Assistant United States Attorneys Melinda Williams, Laura Provinzino and Emily Polachek said the case “represents the face of modern-day sex trafficking,” adding that “today’s guilty verdict recognizes the bravery of the five young victims who were trafficked by Lazzaro. We are humbled by their courage and inspired by their journeys to regain their power.”

From the Minnesota District Attorney’s Office:

“As proven at trial, Lazzaro conspired with Castro Medina to recruit young girls – 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds – to have sex with him in exchange for cash and other items of value. Lazzaro met Castro Medina in May of 2020 through the Seeking Arrangements website, which is known as a ‘sugar daddy’ website. Lazzaro directed Castro Medina to identify girls she knew and others on social media who would have sex with him for money. Lazzaro specified that he was looking for young girls of a certain skin color, petite body type, and those who were considered vulnerable, referring to them as ‘broken girls.’ Castro Medina would show Lazzaro photographs of minor girls and if Lazzaro ‘approved’ Castro Medina would provide the minor’s contact information to Lazzaro. Castro Medina told the minors that Lazzaro was an older guy with a lot of money, and that he wanted to be a sugar daddy to younger girls. For her role in recruiting multiple minor girls, Lazzaro paid Castro Medina more than $50,000.

As proven at trial, Lazzaro often sent cars, typically Ubers, to transport the minor girls to his luxury condo in the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis. At one point, Lazzaro sent a driver to pick up a group of 14 and 15-year-olds from a slumber party in St. Michael, Minnesota. When minor girls came to his condo, Lazzaro would give them alcohol, flash stacks of cash, and offer the girls precise sums of money to perform various sex acts. Lazzaro would send the minor girls home with cash, vapes, alcohol, Plan B, cell phones, and other items of value. Lazzaro carried out this trafficking scheme from May 2020 through December 2020.”

Read the full press release here

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.