PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On the same night local high schoolers met with Portland police to discuss the signs of sex trafficking, one local woman spoke to KOIN 6 News about being sucked into the city’s seedy world of sex when she was just 17.
“I was coerced and brainwashed into doing things I didn’t want to do,” the sex trafficking survivor recalled.
The woman, referred to as “Brandy”, said she thought she had met a man online that she could one day marry. But after brainwashing her and cutting her off from her family, Brandy said she wound up doing things she would have never imagined.
“He shot me up with meth for the first time,” Brandy said. “It was the craziest feeling in the entire world.”
In the summer of 2009, Brandy was a 17-year-old college student with plans of becoming a forensic pathologist, until she met Anthony Pranzetti online. The pair started dating, but soon, wining and dining turned into drug use and physical abuse.
“Not only was I drunk or high but other chemicals were introduced as well,” Brandy explained. “From cocaine to ecstasy to heroin, whatever he has.”
Brandy said Pranzetti broke her down to keep her away from family and friends.
“That none of my friends really liked me, that I was the fat friend, all these things come out and they play on your insecurities,” Brandy said.
Then, Pranzetti began pimping Brandy out, selling her on websites like Backpage and Craigslist. The sex trafficking survivor said she doesn’t know how many people she had sex with during that time.
“So many you lose count,” she said. “It’s not something you want to count. It’s embarrassing, you feel dirty, you feel used.”
Brandy said the drugs made the lifestyle bearable, and because she believed Pranzetti cared about her, she kept herself from leaving.
“The lies that I was being told is that eventually we can get out of the game, we can have a family, I’m the only one you got,” Brandy recalled.
But that never happened. Six months later, Pranzetti was arrested, and Brandy began clawing her way out of that life. Today, she has advice for parents who may be worried about their daughters.
“Have the conversation, get as much education as you can and if you think there’s something going on with your child, investigate,” Brandy said.
After Pranzetti was arrested, Brandy said she went into detox and rehab. She also attempted suicide. Now, she’s doing much better. She’s married and going to school to work with at risk kids and trauma victims.
Pranzetti is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence.