Former Oklahoma Senator Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking – Faces Life in Prison
Over the weekend, former Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey agreed to plead guilty to a single child sex trafficking charge.
The plea bargain came in order to have three other charges dropped against him. The three charges include two counts of transportation of child pornography and one count of production of child pornography.
News Oklahoma reported:
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The federal grand jury accused Shortey in the first child pornography count of using his smartphone in October 2013 to email a video of a man engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a prepubescent girl.
He is accused in the second child pornographic count of using his smartphone that same month to email sexually explicit videos of young boys.
He is accused in the third child pornography count of persuading the boy he later took to the Moore hotel to send him an inappropriate picture.
He is accused in the child sex trafficking count of soliciting that boy in March to engage in a commercial sex act. The boy is identified in the indictment only as “John Doe.”
The crime will get him at least ten years in prison, but he could get up to life behind bars.
Shortey was known as a “family values” conservative and state chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign during the primary elections.
He continued to claims he was innocent up until this point despite the massive amount of child porn on his devices.
On Friday, Shortey attorney Ed Blau said, “Mr. Shortey feels this is a necessary step in putting this painful and humiliating ordeal behind him, for both himself, his family and for the state of Oklahoma.”
Shortey used various social media platforms such as Facebook and Kik, as well as Craig’s List to obtain his victims, according to court documents.
Police were notified when the boy went missing and his parents discovered disturbing texts between the boy and Shortey of a sexual nature.
Shortey was caught at a Super 8 motel room in Moore, Oklahoma.
Mr. Shortey was found in the room with an underage boy at 1 am in the morning by officers with the Moore Police Department, along with an open box of condoms, a bottle of lotion and a laptop computer.
He was released after agreeing to wear an ankle monitor and have his computer monitored.
This was not something recent either. For over seven years, Shortey used fake email addresses and names to deal in child pornography and soliciting minors for sex, many of which, according to investigators, were young boys.
Shortey’s plea deal is scheduled to be entered into court records this week with his sentence following sometime after.