Lazzaro’s attorney requests release on bail, ‘Truman Show’-style 24-hour home surveillance

(KSTP) – The defense for Anton Lazzaro, the prominent Minnesota GOP donor facing federal child sex trafficking charges, is requesting his release on bail with 24-hour home surveillance.

In a filing entered into the court record on Tuesday, defense attorney Zachary Newland cited his client’s Eighth Amendment right to release on bail, claiming Lazzaro is an "upstanding member of the community" who operates multiple businesses and poses no threat to the public.

"Mr. Lazzaro is by all accounts a law-abiding citizen, contrary to the serious allegations in the Government’s charging document," the filing states. "To keep Mr. Lazzaro in jail pre-trial is to effectively shut down those businesses and force his employees out of a job."

The indictment against Lazzaro alleges he conspired to recruit and solicit six minors for commercial sex acts. He is charged with five counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor and three counts of obstruction.

Gisela Castro Medina, 19, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, five counts of sex trafficking of minors and one count of obstruction. She is the former chairperson of the Minnesota College of Republicans chapter at the University of St. Thomas and has a direct tie with Lazzaro.

Newland asked the court to release Lazzaro on bond to his three-bedroom, 2,208-square-foot luxury condo at Ivy Tower in downtown Minneapolis with round-the-clock camera surveillance and GPS ankle monitoring in place.

The filing claims the public cannot access the elevator that leads to Lazzaro’s 19th-floor residence without walking past the front desk, which is monitored by a desk clerk 24 hours a day. Visitors need to check in with the front between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and outside those hours the elevator can only be accessed with an electronic key fob. The elevator also has a camera inside.

There are three cameras already installed in Lazzaro’s condo, as well as a Ring camera doorbell at the front door. Newland proposes the installation of two more cameras and a keypad with a biometric thumbprint authenticator to access the apartment and biometric locks on other areas of the home where cameras aren’t installed, such as the bathrooms and laundry room.

"Taking the cameras together with the recommended use of bio-metric locks on areas where Mr. Lazzaro cannot go inside the home Mr. Lazzaro will be living inside a real-life ‘Truman Show’ scenario," the filing states.

Newland also proposes that Lazzaro not be allowed access to internet-capable devices without prior approval and only be permitted to use the internet for work, communicating with attorneys and for watching TV — excluding "adult entertainment." Other conditions include regular drug and alcohol testing and no contact with minors.

If home confinement was not acceptable for the judge, the filing also floats the possibility of having Lazzaro stay with his mother in California and having her serve as a third-party custodian.

Lazzaro has been in custody at the Sherburne County Jail since his arrest on Aug. 12. He had his first court appearance Tuesday.