Oklahoma State Senator Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Crime

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – A disgraced former Oklahoma state senator pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal child sex trafficking charge, admitting that he solicited a teenage boy to have sex at a hotel.

Ralph Shortey, 35, R-Oklahoma City, ignored reporters as he entered the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City. He was charged in September with two counts of transportation of child pornography, production of child pornography and child sex trafficking.

Prosecutors agreed to drop the first three charges in exchange for his plea. He faces 10 years to life in federal prison and will be sentenced in 2018.

Shortey will not be further prosecuted for “his transportation, possession or production of child pornography or child sex trafficking during the period from October 2013 through March 9, 2017,” in exchange for his guilty plea, the 10-page plea agreement states.

Shortey, an early supporter of President Donald Trump, is a married father of four.

Prosecutors said the unidentified teenage boy told Shortey on the Kik messaging app on March 8 that he needed money for spring break.

“I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now,” Shortey replied. “Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”

The indictment stated Shortey later drove the boy to a Super 8 Motel in Moore and rented a room with his credit card. Police say the boy’s father told them his son “has a history of soliciting himself” for sex on Craigslist and that they found the two in a room with a strong odor of marijuana, a bottle of lotion and an open box of condoms.

The Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed a resolution stripping Shortey of his powers and kicked him out of his Capitol office in March, shortly after he was found with the teenage boy. He resigned days later.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn filed state charges against Shortey, but dismissed them after federal prosecutors filed their case.

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