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Man charged in Meriden with committing sex crimes against teenage girls

According to police, the 46-year-old suspect, who has been living out of his car for several years, found underage girls on social media.

MERIDEN, Conn. — Meriden Police arrested a 46-year-old man on Tuesday for allegedly committing sex crimes against underage girls over a period of at least two years. And, he was arraigned Wednesday.

Anthony Lazzari was hit with 10 charges, including criminal attempt at trafficking persons, promoting prostitution, commercial sex abuse of a minor and enticing a minor by a computer.

"I was like 'oh my God' like, you know, I can’t believe it. And I tried to talk to him about it and it seems like he didn’t really care," said Jose Hernandez, Lazarri's friend.

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According to police, the 46-year-old suspect, who has been living out of his car for several years, found underage girls on social media.

"From what I know, he was meeting young girls on Snapchat," said Hernandez.

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Essentially offering them pay for play in numerous sexual ways. One alleged victim told police Lazzari paid her to kick him up to 25 times in his private parts.

"He said that, you know, that it was a way of comfort," said Hernandez.

Police allege Lazzari utilized an escort service website to arrange for underage girls to participate in sexual acts, including intercourse for money with him and other men. And last year, police detained Lazzari and Hernandez.

"They asked Anthony if I was involved in those crimes and Anthony specified 'No, I acted alone,'" said Hernandez.

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And Jose said after that encounter with cops, he cooperated with investigators.

"They asked me to cooperate, to not have the same charges as him for guilty by association," Hernandez said.

Lazzari, whose case was transferred from Meriden to New Haven, remains held on a $1 million bond.

Police say an alleged victim they spoke with was 16 at the time these encounters began with Lazzari two years ago. 

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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