It was during the early morning hours of March 9th when officers knocked on the door of a Super 8 motel room for a welfare check. Officers knocked for several minutes before Ralph Shortey, who at the time held the Oklahoma state senator position, stood at the door wearing a conflicting shirt with a bible verse that implies women should serve their husbands. The shirt also had an image of a sandwich with text next to it that read “Now make me a sandwich.” Although this is not something one would expect a state senator to be wearing, that wasn’t the real issue.
The real issue was that Shortey had been inside this motel room with a 17-year-old just “hanging out.” Officers reported that they had smelled marijuana coming from the room and suspected that there was more to the story. When Shortey was questioned about the situation, he mentioned that they were just “talking about life and stuff.” However, the police body cam footage that was just released on Monday shows that the beds were not made.
An odd situation for a state senator and a 17-year-old to be in don’t you think?
Shortey also mentioned that he and the teen had been speaking for several months now and that they were discussing ways the teen was going to get his life back on track and how he was planning on going to get his GED.
Shortey wasn’t arrested at that time.
Fox 59 did provide some of the discussion that transpired between the officers who had arrived at the scene of the call and they contemplated on why a 17-year-old would have been in a motel room with an older man. At the time of the call, the police officers weren’t even aware that Shortey was a state senator. They went back and forth questioning whether there were narcotics involved or if prostitution was occurring.
Although Shortey managed to get away with that at the time, it did spark a wide-ranging investigation that ended with him being charged with child prostitution in Cleveland County. He then resigned from the Oklahoma State Senate. The charges were later dropped when Shortey plead guilty to federal child sex trafficking. While a sentencing hearing is pending, he could be looking at spending between 10 years to life in prison.
Hopefully, for Shortey’s sake, he has a reputable criminal defense lawyer working for him to help get his charges reduced even farther. While he managed to get his initial charges dropped, he may have a difficult time with these. Aside from the time he may be given to serve in jail, he will likely have plenty of fines to go along with the charges that are currently being pinned against him.