Anti-Gay ‘Family Values’ Former GOP State Senator Guilty of Child Sex Trafficking After Being Found With Teen Boy


Married With Four Children, Anti-Gay Former GOP Lawmaker Who Resigned in Disgrace Had Also Been Charged With Child Pornography

Oklahoma could have elected a retired firefighter to state Senate District 44 in 2010, but he was a Democrat. Instead, to fill an open seat created when a Republican state Senator embroiled in a bribery scandal stepped down, Oklahoma voters elected Ralph Shortey to the seat. On Sunday, Shortey, 35, agreed to plead guilty to child sex trafficking, after federal law enforcement officials agreed to drop three counts of child pornography, according to The Oklahoman

The details of all the charges, some of which stem from activities going back to 2013, are stunning.

Shortey, who once "planned to be a missionary," stepped down from his state Senate seat after being found with a 17-year old boy in a motel in March.

He "was investigated first by Moore police and then the FBI after being found with the teenager at the Super 8 in Moore about 1 a.m. March 9."

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.

The victim "confirmed that he and Shortey intended to have sexual contact and that they had agreed Shortey would pay him for the contact," an FBI agent reported in a court affidavit. Both beds were described as unmade.

The two had met a year before through a Craigslist ad.

The investigation of Shortey uncovered evidence he had led a secret life. The FBI reported he used fake names to post Craigslist ads seeking sex with young males and on an email account to send and receive pornography.

"Shortey used those pseudonyms almost exclusively for illicit and illegal sexual interests or encounters, several of which included communications and exchanges of pornography with underage males, and/or the sharing of child pornography," the FBI agent wrote in the court affidavit.

Shortey is a former Trump campaign chairman known for filing outrageous and extremist bills, including one banning aborted human fetuses from being included in food, the AP reported in March. He also filed an anti-immigrant bill accusing immigrants of giving their children to human traffickers. 

"During his seven years in the state Senate, Shortey built a name for himself by pushing bills targeting those living in the country illegally and expanding gun rights," according to the AP. "He routinely voted with his Republican colleagues on bills targeting gay and transgender people, including a measure passed earlier this year that would allow business owners to discriminate against gay people."

Running against another Democrat, Shortey won re-election in 2014. In a July special election to fill his seat, the same Democrat ran and won.

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