A former Oklahoma state senator—and Trump’s campaign chair in that state—is expected to plead guilty to child sex trafficking after offering to pay a 17-year-old boy for “sexual stuff” last year.
Ralph Shortey, 35, who you may remember as the brave lawmaker who introduced a bill banning human consumption of aborted fetuses, resigned from the legislature in March after he was charged with a number of felonies, including child prostitution, The Oklahoman reports. His attorney confirmed that Shortey would plead guilty to a child sex trafficking charge later this month in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to drop three child porn charges against him.
Shortey was investigated by the police and the FBI after he was found with a teenager at a Super 8 motel in March of 2016. According to The Oklahoman:
Police reported Shortey and the victim had carried on a conversation about sex using the messaging app Kik before going to the hotel. Their conversation had turned graphic when the teenager wrote, “I need money for spring break,” according to police.
Shortey had replied, “I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?” The teenager then wrote, “Yes,” according to police.
Officers reported finding an open box of condoms in Shortey’s backpack and a bottle of lotion in the teenager’s backpack.
Shortey and the teen initially connected through Craigslist in February, with Shortey acquiring at least one image of the boy’s genitals before they arranged to meet at the motel.
Prior to his downfall, Shortey, who is married with three children, built his career as a “family values” Republican and staunch supporter of anti-abortion and anti-LGBT measures. He’ll serve a minimum of 10 years in prison, though his sentence will likely be longer.