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.

Gisela Castro Medina, 20, Lazzaro's alleged accomplice, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction charges last month and is now expected to testify at Lazzaro's trial. She said she first met the 32-year-old Lazzaro through a "sugar daddy" website called Seeking Arrangement in May 2020. Medina testified that she and a minor girl received cash and alcohol for sex with Lazzaro at his Hotel Ivy condominium in Minneapolis before Medina eventually transitioned into recruiting other young girls for Lazzaro to pay for sex.

Medina also admitted to helping Lazzaro try to buy the silence of one 15-year-old victim as the FBI investigated the case. Medina is free on supervised release as she awaits her June 8 sentencing date.

According to Medina's plea agreement, Medina would show him pictures of girls' social media accounts, which he would approve or decline. She was instructed to tell the girls that Lazzaro was an older guy who wanted to be a sugar daddy to younger girls — while adding that he was "not creepy." Lazzaro had a preference in skin color and petite body type with no tattoos.

Medina testified last month that victims received cash, alcohol, vapes, food and luxury items in exchange for sex, and that the girls were shuttled via Ubers to meet Lazzaro. Medina said she used the funds from Lazzaro to pay her rent and tuition. She testified he promised to pay her future graduate school expenses and buy her a house in exchange for her silence and cooperation.

At least six minor victims are referenced in the indictment. The federal charges against both Lazzaro and Medina carry the potential for decades in prison, even a possible life sentence.

Lazzaro's Jan. 5 letter, made public this week on the federal court docket, is at least the second letter urging Schiltz to reconsider his selective prosecution ruling. The first letter, dated Nov. 23 and made public weeks later, was sent anonymously by a person who described themselves as a "legal activist for three decades."

In his letter to the judge, Lazzaro cited the difference in potential sentences in state- and federal-level commercial sex cases as part of the urgency behind his latest bid to argue that he had been unfairly prosecuted.

"Ultimately, I am fighting for my life," Lazzaro wrote. "State defendants and even my co-defendant who was given an unheard of plea deal, simply are not."