A Minnesota woman facing federal sex trafficking charges alongside GOP strategist and donor Anton Lazzaro pleaded guilty on Monday.
20-year-old Gisela Castro Medina, the former Minnesota College Republicans chair at the University of St. Thomas, is expected to testify at Lazzaro’s trial. Lazarro severed ties with Medina last year after she was arrested. He was indicted just weeks prior.
Medina pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring with Lazzaro, 32, to recruit and solicit six minors for prostitution. The two reportedly met on a website used to solicit sexual relationships with younger women.
According to Fox News, Lazzaro began talking to Castro Medina and a minor victim on the site before later inviting them to his Minneapolis condo in May 2020. At Lazzaro’s residence, he allegedly gave Castro Medina and the victim alcohol and paid for sexual activity.
Lazzaro continued to meet up with the victim, and Medina would take a cut of the money Lazzaro paid for the sex acts as payment for her recruiting.
The U.S. Attorney Office said in a press release that Medina would “show Lazzaro photographs of minor girls and if Lazzaro ‘approved’ Castro Medina would reach out to the minor and provide the minor’s contact information to Lazzaro.”
Medina would then tell 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.”
Medina admitted to recruiting minors and also said that Lazzaro gave the victims money, alcohol, vaping cartridges, food, smartphones, high-end purses, and would pay for their hotel rooms and transportation, Fox reported.
Medina made enough through the sex trafficking scheme that she was able to pay her rent and utility bills, tuition loan, car payments and travel expenses.
When a 15-year-old victim threatened to go to police, Medina said she and Lazzaro paid her hundreds of dollars in cash, gift cards, vapes and alcohol provided by Lazzaro.
Lazzaro was indicted in August 2021 and was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, five counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor and three counts of obstruction, according to Fox.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FOX NEWS
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