Prosecutors want 30 year sentence for Tony Lazzaro in sex trafficking case

Prosecutors want 30 year sentence for Tony Lazzaro in sex trafficking case

Prosecutors want 30 year sentence for Tony Lazzaro in sex trafficking case

After a federal jury found Anton “Tony” Lazzaro guilty of child sex trafficking, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota said his office would seek a “strenuous” sentence.

Nearly six months later, federal prosecutors are now asking that the former political donor and strategist serve 30 years behind bars, according to newly filed court documents.

When Lazzaro appears in federal court next Wednesday, prosecutors will rely heavily on evidence brought forward at trial, along with victim impact statements submitted to the court.

In March, a jury convicted Lazzaro, 32, after hearing the testimony of five minor victims, who said he offered them hundreds of dollars in exchange for sex.

In addition to the 30-year sentence followed by 10 years of supervised release, the government is also asking that Lazzaro pay thousands of dollars in restitution to both his victims and a victims’ fund.

Prosecutors included excerpts from the victim’s written impact statements in the court filing. The young women recounted the impact the trafficking has had on their lives and urged the court to impose a very long sentence.

“I just want justice, so my 16-year-old self can heal,” one wrote in a letter to the court. “I know someday soon I’ll be free again.”

Prosecutors also argue Lazzaro used his wealth and privilege to commit these crimes, as well as obstruct justice.

“He offered his codefendant money to lie for him,” attorneys for the government wrote in the filing. “He lied with abandon on the witness stand. And, of course, at no point has Lazzaro expressed a single shred of remorse.”

Lazzaro’s defense team also filed a document outlining its sentencing recommendations. They are asking for 10 years, the statutory minimum.

Lazzaro has previously said he will appeal the conviction.

Erica MacDonald, a former U.S. attorney, said while there are federal sentencing guidelines and statutes that apply to the charges, the final decision on how much time Lazzaro will serve is up to the judge.

“In the end, it’s the judge’s discretion as to what that sentence should be and will be,” she said in an interview Wednesday.

Lazzaro’s sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.