Former Oklahoma Republican State Senator Ralph Shortey is facing 10 years to life in prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000 for child sex trafficking charges.
Fox News reported that on Monday, Oklahoma police officers released body camera footage showing the moment that Shortey was caught in a hotel room with an underage male. The footage was released days after he pleaded guilty to child prostitution and pornography charges.
The arrest occurred early on March 9 at a Super 8 Motel in Moore, Oklahoma. Officers can be seen knocking on the door of a room occupied by Shortey and the underage male after they were asked to do a welfare check by the boy’s father.
“So, what are they saying?” one of the officers asks another.
“Well, drug-related, maybe,” an officer replied. “Maybe was coming here to buy some weed. Either here for narcotics, or prostitution for narcotics.”
“Like the kid’s prostituting himself out?” the other officer asked.
Officers could smell marijuana and found the drug in the room along with condoms and lotion found in a backpack that belonged to Shortey.
“Hey, it’s Moore Police Department, man. We just need to check on your welfare, make sure you’re okay. We’re not going away,” the officers said.
The video cuts when the teenager is shown and picks back up when they are talking to Shortey as he hides behind the door.
“Come out,” an officer ordered Shortey. “Now, you’re getting me worried, show me your hands.”
Shortey then walked out wearing a shirt that had a reference to the Bible verse from Ephesians 5:22, which called for women to “submit to their husbands.” When the officers informed him that the boy was only 17, the former state senator replied, “Can you show me that he’s only 17?”
“I can’t,” an officer replied. “But I can convince you that he is. I can put you in handcuffs and throw you in the back of the car.”
Though Shortey claimed he was only talking to the young man, police arrested him and accused him of hiring the teenager for sex. When officers searched the teenager’s tablet, they uncovered a series of sexually explicit exchanges in which Shortey referred to the teen as “baby boy” and offered him cash in exchange for “sexual stuff.”
The married father of four resigned from the state senate after his arrest on state charges of engaging in child prostitution and transporting a minor for prostitution. What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.