GOP donor faces trial on charges of sex trafficking minors

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A formerly well-connected Republican donor goes on trial in Minnesota on Tuesday accused of sex trafficking minors.

Anton “Tony” Lazzaro is charged with seven federal counts involving five minors ages 15 and 16 in 2020, when he was 30 years old.

His indictment touched off a political firestorm that led to the downfall of Jennifer Carnahan as chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

A co-defendant pleaded guilty to two counts last year and will testify against him. Lazzaro has denied the allegations.

He says the government targeted him for political reasons. Prosecutors say it’s simply a sex-trafficking case.