Ralph Shortey, a conservative Christian lawmaker who advocated “family values” during his winning campaign for the Oklahoma State Senate, has agreed to plead guilty to child sex trafficking charges in connection with the solicitation of a 17-year-old boy.
Shortey resigned in March after he was charged with child prostitution, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution or lewdness. Now he has admitted to a child sex trafficking offense in exchange for the prosecution dropping some of the other major charges against him.
By making a deal, Shortey, 35, hopes to avoid being locked up for nearly the rest of his life. Still, he will be required to serve at least a 10-year prison term, the mandatory minimum time for child sex trafficking.
Shortey said in the plea agreement that the deal is in his best interest, as well as in the best interest of his family. He’s right about the first part, at least.
The defense attorney, Ed Blau, negotiated the plea agreement for Shortey after reviewing the evidence and applicable case law.
“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,” the attorney said Friday.
Yes, you read that right: the lawyer says Shortey is the victim here, and that what he experienced was “painful and humiliating.”
I guess the victim will have to wait for the next public statement.
Shortey has demonstrated a complete lack of ethics, despite the fact that he is constantly promoting “Christian values” and claiming the divine moral high ground. This is a man who once planned to be a missionary prior to getting into politics, yet here he was arrested after being found with a child “within 1,000 feet of a church.” In other words, he’s a complete hypocrite.
He was found with the young boy at a Super 8 motel at 1:00 AM on March 9 of this year. The teenager’s girlfriend alerted his father, who called the police, according to reports.
Police reported Shortey and the victim had carried on a conversation about sex using the messaging app Kik before going to the hotel. Their conversation had turned graphic when the teenager wrote, “I need money for spring break,” according to police.
Shortey had replied, “I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?” The teenager then wrote, “Yes,” according to police.
A politician took advantage of a child who needed money. He met this kid through a Craigslist ad, then proceeded to prey on him. That’s a textbook case of a predator, and Shortey deserves far more than the minimum allowable sentence for what he did. We’ll see if the judge agrees.
(Screenshot via YouTube)