Married Oklahoma Senator who was a senior member of Trump's campaign team pleads guilty to paying a 17-year-old boy for sex
- Ralph Shortey Thursday pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking of a 17-year-old
- He met the teen on Craigslist last year and they messaged back and forth on Kik?
- The teenager told Shortey he needed money for spring break in the messages
- In exchange for pleading guilty, 3 counts of child pornography were dropped
- Shortey will have to serve at least 10 years in prison, the minimum sentence?
Republican Ralph Shortey pleaded guilty on Thursday in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping three child pornography charges against him?
A former Oklahoma state senator and senior member of Trump's campaign team has pleaded guilty of child sex trafficking after offering to pay a teenage boy for 'sex stuff' last year.?
Republican Ralph Shortey pleaded guilty on Thursday in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping three child pornography charges against him.??
The 35-year-old will be required to serve at least 10 years in prison, which is the minimum sentence for child sex trafficking. The maximum sentence would be life in prison.?
When making the decision on Monday, he wrote in plea paperwork that it is in the 'best interest' for him and for his family.?
He is still married to his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Shortey, and has four daughters with her.?
Shortey was first elected to his seat in the Oklahoma senate in 2010 and was known for offbeat legislative proposals. He also considered himself to have 'family values' and is reported to have targeted gay and transgender people with his legislative proposals, according to the Associated Press.?
Earlier this year he passed a law which allows business owners to discriminate against LGBT people, citing freedom of religion.
He also staunchly opposes abortion, and in 2012 tried to introduce a bill which would make it illegal to use aborted fetuses in food. It was widely ridiculed.?
He resigned on March 22 after it came to light that he had propositioned a young man and offered to pay him for sex.?
Shortey was also a senior member of the Trump campaign team. He is pictured with Donald Trump Jr?
The 35-year-old Republican will be required to serve at least 10 years in prison, which is the minimum sentence for child sex trafficking. The maximum sentence would be life in prison. He is pictured with his wife, Jennifer Shortey, who he is still married to?
Shortey was first arrested March 9 when police found him in a motel with a 17-year-old boy. He had a box of opened condoms in his bag and had propositioned the boy for paid sex. He is pictured on February 29, just 10 days before the incident
He was first investigated by Moore city police and later by the FBI after he was found with the teen around 1am on March 9 at a Super 8 Motel.?
The boy's girlfriend followed them there after watching Shortey pick him up. She then called his father, and his father notified police.
Police said the then-senator and the boy had a conversation about sex on the messaging app Kik before meeting.?
The conversation became sexually graphic after the teenager told Shortey that he needed money 'for spring break.'?
'I don't really have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in "sexual" stuff?' police said Shortey asked the teen. The victim then replied 'Yes.'?
Police said that when they arrived at the house they found an open box of condoms in Shortey's backpack and a bottle of lotion in the victim's. Both beds were unmade.?
The teen then told police that he and Shortey 'intended to have sexual contact and that they had agreed Shortey would pay him for the contact,' an FBI agent wrote in a court affidavit.
The teen then told police that he and Shortey 'intended to have sexual contact and that they had agreed Shortey would pay him for the contact,' an FBI agent wrote in a court affidavit
The two met a year before this encounter through an ad on Craigslist.?
When the FBI began their investigation into Shortey they uncovered a secret life.
The agency reported that he used fake names to post ads on Craigslist looking for sex with young men and on an email account he used 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,' an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit.
Shortey was indicted in September and accused of child sex trafficking.?
He was also accused in one of the child pornography counts of persuading that same teenager to send him explicit photographs in 2016.?
In the other child pornography counts he was accused of sending sexual videos to two people in 2013.
The defense attorney, Ed Blau, decided to negotiate a plea agreement after looking at all of the evidence.?
District Judge Timothy DeGiusti did not set a sentencing date.?
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