MINNEAPOLIS — (EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above originally aired in August 2021)
Court documents are revealing additional details about the sex trafficking allegations against former GOP strategist Anton Lazzaro, as his attorney seeks the return of some of his client's property.
Lazzaro is charged with 10 federal sex trafficking crimes for allegedly recruiting six minors to engage in commercial sex acts.
On Thursday, Lazzaro's attorney filed a motion asking a federal court to release several items that had been seized during the investigation. The property in question includes a 2010 Ferrari, 38 laptops, tablets, phones and storage devices, and more than $371,000 in cash. Lazzaro's attorney claims the property is not related to the case because his client wasn't profiting from sex trafficking.
Thursday's filing included a previously-sealed search warrant in the case, which revealed graphic details of the allegations made by several of the alleged victims.
According to the search warrant, several of the victims told Lazzaro they were 16 years old when Lazzaro allegedly paid them to have sex with him. One victim claimed she heard Lazzaro tell co-defendant Gisela Castro Medina that he wanted her to recruit girls as young as 13 or 14.
In several of the cases, the victims said Lazzaro paid them several hundred dollars for sex. A few of the victims described a mirror in Lazzaro's bedroom and the feeling they were being recorded.
The warrant was issued and property seized in December 2020 at Lazzaro's downtown Minneapolis penthouse, as federal investigators sought to collect any phones, devices, videos, and communications related to the case.
Lazzaro has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
Co-defendant Gisela Castro Medina, 19, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, five counts of sex trafficking of minors, and one count of obstruction.
The Lazzaro case led to the resignation of Minnesota Republican Party chair Jennifer Carnahan in August, over her alleged personal ties to the former GOP strategist.
The next motions hearing in Lazzaro's case is scheduled in U.S. District Court on Nov. 16.