Moore, OK — In September, former Oklahoma Sen. Ralph Shortey was accused in a federal indictment of multiple counts of child sex trafficking and child pornography offenses. Over the weekend, Shortey agreed to plead guilty to a single child sex trafficking charge in exchange for three other charges to be dismissed. He now faces a minimum of 10 years in prison but could be sent away for life.
“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’s attorney Ed Blau said on Friday.
After the federal grand jury meeting in Oklahoma City returned their four indictments, Shorty, 35, originally pleaded not guilty. He wiped away tears as officials read out his child sex trafficking and child pornography offenses. However, given the evidence against him, as detailed in the graphic federal indictment, Shortey's attorneys likely knew he had no grounds for a not guilty plea.
Despite being caught in the act at a Super 8 motel room in Moore, Oklahoma, Shortey was released after agreeing to a series of stringent conditions including wearing an ankle monitor and having his computer monitored.
As TFTP previously reported, the charges came after Shortey was busted in a motel room in March with an underage boy.
The investigation was launched when the teen boy's parents called police after finding disturbing text messages between him and their son. When police began their investigation into the texts, they found Senator Ralph Shortey in a motel room with the boy.
As KOCO 5 reported at the time, police obtained a search warrant that was served during the investigation. Using the search warrant, police said they found the juvenile's Kindle Fire tablet that contained conversations between him and Shortey pertaining to sexual activities in exchange for money. The tablet was seized as evidence.
During the raid on the hotel room, the boy admitted to selling weed to Shortey in the past and said he had known him for about a year. When police searched the Kindle found in the room, they found evidence of Shortey attempting to solicit "sexual" stuff from the underage teen.
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Police also noted that they smelled marijuana and found a backpack with a bottle of lotion and condoms, according to the report.
Showing the bipartisan nature of sex abuse among the political elite, Shortey was also the state chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign during the primary elections. He was known as a "family values" conservative.
Sex abuse among the political elite knows no party line and those who attempt to use the abuser's party affiliation for political gain do a disservice to the victims and guarantee no solution to the horrific problem. Sex abuse is rampant on both sides of the aisle and it exists from the lowest ranking cop all the way to the president.
Shortey resigned only weeks after the scandal began to unfold and, until now, he maintained his innocence despite the horrific child pornography found on his devices. According to News Oklahoma,
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."
Since he was elected in 2010, the senator has led a secret double life, according to the indictment. For over seven years, through a series of fake names and fake email addresses, Shortey dealt in child pornography and began soliciting minors.
As news Oklahoma reports, federal prosecutors revealed in a court filing that the investigation found Shortey communicated "with numerous individuals, many of whom appear to be underage boys."
Shortey's plea deal will be entered into court records this week and his sentencing will be scheduled for a later date according to Shortey's lawyer.