Woman pleads guilty after being charged with sex trafficking alongside GOP strategist

The Minnesota woman charged on federal sex trafficking charges alongside GOP strategist and donor Anton “Tony” Lazzaro pleaded guilty on Monday.

Gisela Castro Medina, the former Minnesota College Republicans chair at the University of St. Thomas, is expected to testify at Lazzaro’s trial.

The Minnesota College Republicans severed ties with Castro Medina last year after she was arrested in Florida. Lazzaro was indicted just weeks before Medina’s arrest.

Castro Medina, 20, pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring with Lazzaro, 32, to recruit and solicit six minors for prostitution, according to federal prosecutors.

Gisela Castro Medina

Gisela Castro Medina
(FOX 9)

The two met on a website called “Seeking Arrangements,” which is used by men to solicit sexual relationships with younger women in exchange for money.

According to the criminal complaint, 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.

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Lazzaro then continued to meet up with the victim, and Castro Medina would take a cut of the money Lazzaro paid for the sex acts as payment for her recruiting.

He also continued to speak with Castro Medina, court documents claim. She used social media, her university and friends to recruit other minor girls for Lazzaro to have sex with.

“Castro 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,” the US Attorney Office wrote in a press release. “Castro Medina told 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.”

Tony Lazzaro

Castro Medina told authorities she knew at the time of recruitment that the victims were minors. She also said Lazzaro gave the victims money, alcohol, vaping cartridges, food, smartphones, high-end purses, and would pay for their hotel rooms and transportation.

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Lazzaro would send Castro Medina cash and Venmo payments, as well as payments to cover her rent and utility for her apartment, tuition payments, car payments and travel expenses.

According to court documents, Castro Medina admitted she and Lazzaro in March 2021 aided and abetted one another to obstruct authorities by agreeing to pay off a 15-year-old victim in an effort to stop her from talking to law enforcement about being paid to have sex with Lazzaro. Castro Medina picked up the victim at her job, drove her around and gave her hundreds of dollars in cash, gift cards, vapes and alcohol provided by Lazzaro. Castro Medina also instructed the victim not to contact Lazzaro again.

Castro Medina pleaded guilty on Monday to a count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and a count of obstruction.

Lazzaro was indicted in August 2021 for the alleged sex trafficking ring between May and December 2020, and is scheduled to go to trial in March. He 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.

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Under her plea agreement, Castro Medina plans to testify for the prosecution against Lazzaro.