Sex-trafficking nightmare focus of panel discussion

An Oregon family whose daughter was the child victim of a convicted sex offender will share its story Thursday during a presentation aimed at getting out the message, "Girls are not for sale."

The free event, sponsored by Soroptimist International of Medford, also will include a panel discussion featuring representatives from the Medford Police Department, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office, Sexual Assault Victim Services and the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force.

Janet and Jerry Kearney, of Clackamas, will talk about how their daughter Shelby Eichner, an exemplary student, was ensnared at age 17 by convicted sex offender Anthony Pranzetti, who had a record of drugging minors, using them in sexual activities and introducing them to prostitution. They will discuss how an average, middle-class family can easily come face-to-face with this danger, said Shelly Culbertson, president of Soroptimist International of Medford.

The Kearneys and their daughter are committed to telling others their story and to letting families know what they can do to prevent trafficking situations from happening, Culbertson said in a press release about the event.

Prior to encountering Pranzetti, Shelby was a model student, athlete and daughter. Her goal was to become a doctor. But Shelby's life took an abrupt detour on a hazardous road during May 2009 when Pranzetti snared her on the Internet.

Within in a week of their face-to-face meeting, playing upon her desire to be an outstanding student, he introduced her by trickery to methamphetamine, Shelby's biography states. He combined meth, alcohol and physical violence to weave a web that kept her ensnared in his trap.

He brainwashed her to the point that she believed that a relationship filled with random bursts of violence was normal. He tried to persuade her to participate in group and casual sex with others whom he would select. Despite her refusals in that area, he still managed to videotape their personal sexual activities and then broadcast those videos without her knowledge across the Internet.

Pranzetti was eventually caught in a criminal act unrelated to Shelby.

"We learned the true nature of Shelby's relationship," Janet Kearney says in her biography. "He had her convinced that if this occurred they both had to commit suicide. After intervention, she spent almost two months in the psychiatric hospital and rehabilitation center."

Shelby was addicted to meth. Her brain had deteriorated, Kearney writes, adding nine months later Shelby did manage to testify against Pranzetti, who was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison.

"As her mother I have supported her every step of the way, but still ponder at how this happened to my daughter," Kearney writes. "I considered myself a model mother and great provider. I am concerned now that if this could happen to my family, then it can happen to anyone. It is now my mission to speak up and help other families."

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