“Credit to the survivors who saved countless teenage girls from serial predator Lazzaro.”
(Minneapolis, MN) – Today, in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Anton Lazzaro was sentenced to 21 years in prison for sex trafficking minor females. Co-conspirator, groomer, and recruiter of Lazzaro’s sex trafficking enterprise, Gisela Castro Medina, will be sentenced on September 5.
“Today’s sentencing means that teenage girls are safe from Lazzaro and his Epstein-like sex trafficking operation,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “Credit to the jury that found Lazzaro guilty and to honorable Judge Patrick Schiltz who so profoundly and eloquently imposed that harshest sentence allowable under the guidelines. The real credit goes to the courageous survivors – they spoke up, stood up, and exposed a dangerous enterprise.
Minor Doe 1 and her family first disclosed the abuse to law enforcement in 2021. Lazzaro attempted to silence Minor Doe 1 by intimidating her with a non-disclosure agreement. Today Minor Doe 1 and her family confronted Lazzaro in the courtroom leading to his conviction on all accounts. Minor Doe 1’s civil suit against Lazzaro is the next pathway to a full measure of accountability.
“The civil system and this courageous survivor now can, and we will hold Lazzaro fully accountable and attach all property he has or will have so that a full measure of justice will be done,” said Anderson. “We will pursue this predator in and out of prison, to the ends of the earth, and for the rest of his life as he has imposed a life of sorrow and pain upon so many.”
Honorable Judge Schiltz described vividly how dangerous Lazzaro is while imposing the sentence and ordering restitution:
- Judge Schiltz found that Lazzaro committed perjury twice in his trial testimony:
- Lazzaro committed perjury in denying the existence of an agreement with his co-defendant, Gisela, to recruit underage females for Lazzaro. Judge Schiltz found Gisela’s testimony credible that such an agreement exists, and Lazzaro’s testimony was also contradicted by the text messages produced at trial in which Lazzaro texted his friend explaining this is why he uses recruiter Gisela.
- Lazzaro committed perjury when he testified that he merely provided the survivors’ gifts which were not in exchange for sex. Judge Schiltz found the survivors’ testimony highly credible, that these were not gifts but an exchange for sex.
- Judge Schiltz found that Lazzaro gave many (not all) of the victims Everclear. Judge Schiltz describes Everclear as extremely high in alcohol content, with no taste, and only used to cause girls to get intoxicated.
- Judge Schiltz said every sex trafficking case he has presided over has contained an element that made it stick out to him. In this case, it was the “soulless and mechanical nature” in which Lazzaro sex trafficked his victims.
- Lazzaro set up a “sex trafficking assembly line,” which consisted of the following:
- The use of Gisela to recruit minor females. Lazzaro paid Gisela over $50,000.
- Gisela then uses other, even younger, girls as “essentially subcontractors” to find girls for Lazzaro.
- Gisela and Lazzaro then groom the victims.
- Lazzaro then invites the girls to his condo. Often providing the victims with a car service to pick them up.
- The victims are given a tour of Lazzaro’s condo and then provided Everclear or other alcohol.
- Then exploitative sex
- Throughout this proceeding, Lazzaro was only sympathetic to two people: “himself and Jeffrey Epstein, whom he describes as his brother.”
- Judge Schiltz found there is ‘really no mitigating evidence.” Lazzaro has “no excuse.”
In addition to Judge Schiltz’s detailed description of Lazzaro’s tactics to sexually traffic minor females, the victims, and their families voiced their statements regarding the horrors they endured:
- One victim stated that she had to take three showers to try and rid herself of his “touch” because she never felt clean. After being sexually abused and trafficked by Lazzaro, she tried to change herself – she died her hair pink and wore oversized clothes – she no longer wanted to be what he wanted, which was blonde, tiny, and vulnerable.
- A victim’s mother stated that Lazzaro sentenced the victims to life of PTSD and depression.
- A victim’s mother stated, “You murdered my daughter. She is still walking this earth, yes, but you have murdered her.”
“A full measure of justice has been done today. The pursuit of a fuller measure of accountability can now be pursued.”