Family Values: Former Oklahoma state Senator Ralph Shortey faces life in prison after pleading guilty to child sex trafficking.
After being caught in a hotel room with an underage boy, conservative Christian and former Oklahoma lawmaker Ralph Shortey has entered a plea of guilty to child sex trafficking charges in hopes of receiving a more lenient sentence.
Originally Shortey was charged in federal court with two counts of child pornography, production of child pornography and child sex trafficking. By pleading guilty to the child sex trafficking, prosecutors have agreed to drop the child pornography charges.
The Hill reports the details of the plea deal:
Former state Sen. Ralph Shortey, a Republican, had been accused of offering to pay a 17-year-old boy for sexual “stuff” earlier this year. Federal prosecutors will drop three additional child pornography charges against him in exchange for his guilty plea.
By pleading guilty, Shortey is hoping to receive a lighter sentence. Child sex trafficking carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Timothy DeGiusti will sentence Shortey next year.
In the paperwork for his plea deal Shortey writes:
Shortey is married with four children.
It is in my best interest and in the best interest of my family.
Elected to the state senate in 2010, before being arrested Shortey was a prominent Christian conservative in Oklahoma politics, known for being a birther, and a Trump supporter. The former state senator represented Oklahoma City.
Shortey was also the Oklahoma state chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign during the primary elections.
According to reports, Shortey “attended Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City in preparation for mission work in Uganda,” before beginning his political career.
Before being busted with an underage boy in his hotel room, the anti-abortion, Christian conservative made national news in 2012 when he proposed a bill that would ban human fetuses from being used in food.
Newsweek reports Shortey will officially enter his guilty plea at the end of the month, and could serve somewhere between 10 years and life in prison:
Shortey is scheduled to plead guilty on November 30, two weeks before his trial was set to commence on December 5. Sex trafficking of a minor carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, but Shortey could be sent to life in prison for the offense at a sentencing hearing in early 2018.
Bottom line: Nothing says “conservative Christian Republican family values” like a state senator pleading guilty to child sex trafficking charges.