Minnesota Woman Sentenced For Role in Sex trafficking Conspiracy
Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - A St. Paul woman has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for her involvement in a sex trafficking conspiracy.
According to court documents, 21-year-old Gisela Medina conspired with 32-year-old Anton to "recruit and solicit six minor victims to engage in commercial sex acts." Medina earlier entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and one count of obstruction.
Federal prosecutors say Medina met Lazzaro in May 2020 through a website known as a "sugar daddy" website. Court documents indicate Lazzaro, who was a well-known Republican Party donor and operative, invited her and a 16-year-old girl to his Minneapolis condominium, where he supplied them with alcohol and paid them for sex acts.
It was alleged that Medina then worked with Lazzaro and used social media and her contacts with friends from school and elsewhere to identify other minor girls that might interest Lazzaro. Court documents say she would provide Lazzaro with photographs of the girls and would reach out to them if Lazzaro approved.
A news release from the US Attorney for Minnesota says Medina admitted knowing the victims were minors and that Lazzaro was paying them money in exchange for sex acts. For her role in identifying, recruiting, and introducing minors, Lazzaro was accused of compensating Medina with cash payments, along with rent and utility payments for her apartment, tuition payments for her classes at the University of St. Thomas, car payments, travel expenses, and other items.
The obstruction charge stemmed from her actions after federal investigators looking into Lazzaro's activities executed search warrants. Medina admitted that she and Lazzaro plotted to provide a 15-year-old girl with hundreds of dollars in cash, gift cards, alcohol, and other items in an effort to prevent her from talking to law enforcement about being paid for sex acts with Lazzaro.
Lazzaro was found guilty of federal sex trafficking charges in March and is now serving a 21-year prison sentence.