OKLAHOMA CITY -- (KFOR) -- A former state senator convicted of child sex trafficking was sentenced to prison Monday. A federal court sentenced 36-year-old Ralph Shortey to 15 years in prison, along with 10 years to be supervised when he is released.
Shortey pleaded guilty last fall to child sex trafficking; prosecutors dismissed three child pornography charges as part of a plea agreement.
In March 2017, Shortey, who was then an Oklahoma state senator, was found at Moore hotel with a 17-year-old boy. When police went to check on a juvenile at the Super 8 in Moore, officers said they smelled a “strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from Room 120.
According to an affidavit, the teen told authorities that he and Shortey had known each other for about one year. He said they originally met last year through a Craigslist personal encounter ad. Shortey told detectives he met the teen through a coffee shop he owns, and learned that the teen had dropped out of high school.
“He offered him money for sexual contact, he then picked up that minor and took him to a hotel for that purpose,” Susan Caswell, Cleveland County first assistant district attorney, told KFOR after charges were filed.
A federal indictment unsealed in September shows Shortey was charged in federal court with two counts of transportation of child pornography, production of child pornography and child sex trafficking.
Shortey ultimately pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking in exchange for the other charges to be dropped.