GOP donor Anton Lazzaro set to face trial in sex trafficking case

A disgraced GOP political operative goes on trial this week, charged with sex trafficking teenage girls.

Anton "Tony" Lazzaro faces seven federal counts involving five minors aged 15 and 16. Court documents allege Lazzaro used a co-conspirator to find girls on social media and invite him to his downtown Minneapolis penthouse, where he would pay them for sex acts.

Lazzaro has maintained his innocence, saying the case is politically motivated. His attorneys filed a motion for dismissal as recently as last week.

In a trial brief filed earlier this month, the US Attorney’s office said all five of Lazzaro’s victims would be taking the stand. In addition, Lazzaro’s co-conspirator Gisela Castro Medina is expected to testify against him. She pleaded guilty to trafficking-related charges in December.

Court documents allege Medina helped Lazzaro find the victims through social media and lure them to his home where he would give them alcohol, cash, and other valuable items in exchange for sex.

The trial begins Tuesday.