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Former Oklahoma State Senator Sentenced To 15 Years For Child Sex Trafficking

Former state Sen. Ralph Shortey (R-Oklahoma City)

Former Oklahoma Sen. Ralph Shortey was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Monday after pleading guilty to one count of child sex trafficking.

A federal grand jury indicted Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, in late 2017 for emailing and producing child pornography in addition to child sex trafficking. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop the pornography charges when Shortey pleaded guilty to trafficking.

Shortey resigned from the state Senate shortly after police found him in a motel room with a 17-year-old boy in March 2017. Prosecutors accused Shortey of using the social media app Kik the previous day to offer the boy money in exchange for sex.

Defense attorney Ed Blau said he had hoped Shortey would receive a shorter sentence, but said the judge was fair and took into consideration physical and sexual abuse the defense said Shortey experienced as a child.

U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti ordered Shortey to pay $5,100 in court fees — and he required Shortey spend 10 years on supervised release after his prison term.

The court will determine whether Shortey should pay restitution to the victim at a later date.

Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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