- The Magazine
Oklahoma City police have shared body cam footage from the moment they found an anti-gay Republican in a motel with an underage male prostitute.
Former Oklahoma state Senator Ralph Shortey pleaded guilty last month to child sex trafficking, after he was found in a Super 8 motel in March this year with a boy he’d paid in exchange for “sexual stuff.”
The recently released footage, shared by KOCO News 5, shows police entering the hotel room after receiving a report that Shortey had a young man with him.
In the video, an officer can be told asking Shortey to “show me your hands.”
“I’m sorry guys,” Shortey responds. “You’re kinda freaking me out a little bit.”
“Yeah,” the officer responds. “That’s what we do. He’s 17.”
The “family values” politician tried to say he was mentoring the teen, telling officers they were “just hanging out, talking about life. He couldn’t graduate high school, and [I’m] trying to help him get his life on track.”
Shortey then reveals that there are drugs in the hotel room — they were apparently smoking marijuana together — to which the officer responds, “Getting high with a young kid, whatever, is a bad idea.”
A senior member of Donald Trump’s campaign team in Oklahoma, Shortey, who was married with four children, repeatedly voted against LGBTQ rights during his time in office.
He was initially charged with child sex trafficking, soliciting a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, transportation of child pornography, and production of child pornography.
Those latter two charges stemmed from Shortey allegedly sharing videos involving a “prepubescent girl” and young boys, as well as convincing a minor to share inappropriate images with him.
Shortey agreed to plead guilty to child sex trafficking — with a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison — as it was “in my best interest and in the best interest of my family,” according to the plea paperwork.
“Mr. Shortey feels this is a necessary step in putting this painful and humiliating ordeal behind him, for both himself, his family and for the state of Oklahoma,” his defense attorney Ed Blau said at the time.
Shortey now awaits sentencing.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!