17 January 2023

Republican Family Values

Judges are unamused when defendants claim political bias in response to minor sex trafficking in an attempt to evade criminal responsibility.

Major Minnesota Republican campaign donor Anton Lazzaro just discovered this:

A federal judge on Friday rejected the latest plea, this time in a letter sent to his chambers, from Minneapolis GOP donor Anton Lazzaro to reconsider his child sex trafficking case now set for a March trial.

In a letter this month to Chief U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz, Lazzaro repeated his argument that he was being selectively prosecuted by the government, claiming that his was the only one among hundreds of commercial sex trafficking cases in Minnesota to be pursued in federal court and not in state court — where the potential sentences are far less severe — in recent years.

Schiltz, who previously ruled against all of Lazzaro's efforts to have charges dismissed, responded Friday that he does not accept pro se —meaning "on one's own behalf"— motions or memos from defendants who already have attorneys representing them. Schiltz previously adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that charges not be dismissed, in part because Lazzaro failed to prove that the government singled him out while ignoring other similar cases.

"Your selective prosecution motion has been fully litigated. I have made my ruling. I understand that you disagree with my ruling, and you will have the chance to ask the Eighth Circuit [Court of Appeals] to reverse my ruling if and when you are convicted," Schiltz wrote Friday. "At this point, however, we are going to move forward with trial. I am not going to hear more argument or evidence on this issue."

Lazzaro has been held in Sherburne County jail and awaiting a trial now scheduled for March 20 on a 10-count indictment that accuses him of a conspiracy to pay numerous teenage girls for sex. To date, Lazzaro has unsuccessfully sought to dismiss the indictment on grounds including selective prosecution and arguments that the government improperly listened to jail phone call recordings with attorneys.

So a GOP operative was  ……… Dare I say it? ……… Grooming underage girls?

Gee, maybe the assertions of morality by Republicans are all just guilt and projection?

Then again, what do I know, I'm an engineer, not a social psychologist, dammit!*

*I love it when I get to go all Dr. McCoy!


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