Earlier this month, former state Senator Ralph Shortey, 35, pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop the child pornography charges against him.
Shortey was charged with federal child prostitution charges in September after a months-long investigation that began in March, when Moore Police discovered Shortey in a motel room with a 17-year-old boy.
Body camera video released from the night of the incident shows Shortey being busted by cops after they were sent to a Super 8 Motel in the early morning hours for a welfare check.
“So, what are they saying?” one of the responding officers asks in the video.
“Well, drug related, maybe,” another officer says. “Maybe was coming here to buy some weed. Either here for narcotics, or prostitution for narcotics.”
“Like, the kid’s prostituting himself out?” an officer asked.
Video shows officers trying to get the occupant of the room they were sent to to come out.
“”Hey, it’s Moore Police Department, man,” an officer says. “We just need to check on your welfare, make sure you’re okay. We’re not going away.”
“You said you’re getting dressed?” an officer says to someone inside. “You better hurry it up.”
In the video, the officers note the smell of marijuana coming from the room.
The video cuts off when the teen comes out.
“What we are worried about is you having a juvenile in there. Yeah, this one,” an officer says as the video cuts out.
The video comes back on when the door opens again to reveal Shortey hiding behind it.
“Come out,” an officer tells him. “Now, you’re getting me worried, show me your hands.”
Shortey emerged wearing a shirt saying “Ephesians 5:22” and the words “no go make me a sandwich.”
KFOR notes that the bible verse references women submitting to their husband’s will as they do the Lord.
“Can you show me that he’s only 17?” Shortey argues with the officer.
“I can’t,” an officer replies. “But, I can convince you that he is. I can put you in handcuffs and throw you in the back of car.”
“So, what was going on over here tonight, man?” an officer asked.
“We were just hanging out, talking about life and stuff,” Shortey replied. “We’ve been talking for a few months about. Tomorrow, he told me he was going to get his GED. Couldn’t graduate high school and was trying to get his life on track.”
Shortey was not arrested that night but police began a months-long investigation that resulted in Shortey being charged with child prostitution and soon his resignation from the Oklahoma state Senate.
Prosecutors dropped the child prostitution charges and allowed Shortey to plead guilty to child sex trafficking.
He faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted.
“What sense does it make, me lying to you?” an officer told Shortey in the body cam footage. “But, listen, whatever you’re doing, it’s a bad [expletive] idea. Does that make sense to you? Getting high, with a young kid, is a bad idea. No matter if they’re 17 or 20. It’s a bad idea. You understand what I’m saying?”
Watch the video below: