CBS News broke reporting that former GOP mega-donor and Republican operative Anton Lazzaro — who bears at least loose ties to scandal-ridden, newly-indicted former president Donald Trump — has formally been found guilty and convicted of all charges lodged against him in relation to the sex trafficking of underage girls.
In 2020, at the age of 30, Lazzaro was formally charged with multiple crimes, all of which involved or were directly related to “commercial sex acts” with 5 underage girls, ranging from 15 to 16 in age.
Lazzaro was charged with 10 different counts of sex trafficking, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, as confirmed by a brutal, massive 10-page court indictment that was unsealed and released to the American public in late 2021.
The former GOP operative has since been embroiled in legal proceedings surrounding his heinous sex crimes. However, new reporting confirms that the trial has finally come to a close — following only 3 hours of deliberation yesterday afternoon, the jury found Lazzaro guilty on all counts.
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According to prosecutors, Lazzaro bribed teenage girls with money and gifts in exchange for sex. The former Republican operative admitted to having sex with the underage girls but asserted that he was not the one who recruited them for the trafficking scheme.
CBS reports, “Lazzaro put his hand to his face and shook his head when he heard the verdict read.”
While working as a GOP operative, Lazzaro donated a staggering approximate $190,000 to Republican politicians in the state of Minnesota.
Following the brutal verdict, the former operative and mega-donor released a statement via his spokesperson, expressing his upset and disappointment over the jury’s damning decision:
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. He believes he has strong grounds for appeal, and he will vigorously seek reversal of his conviction. Mr. Lazzaro trusts he will be vindicated.”
The Minnesota District Attorney’s Office released the following statement on the matter:
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.”
It is unclear whether Anton Lazzaro bears anything more than superficial ties to Donald J. Trump, as little more than a political supporter. However, we can verify that the pair have at least met in passing, as Lazzaro has posted at least one image of himself standing alongside the disgraced former US president to his social media account, as well as various photos with the likes of former VP Mike Pence, SC Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Lazzaro has repeatedly expressed his devout support for the 45th US president.
Featured image via Anton Lazzaro/public Twitter post