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Ex-Oklahoma lawmaker cries in court over child porn charges

OKLAHOMA CITY – A former Oklahoma state senator cried in federal court as he pleaded not guilty to child pornography and sex trafficking charges.

The Oklahoman reports that Ralph Shortey appeared in court Wednesday after a federal grand jury indicted him last week on two counts of transporting child pornography and single counts of producing child porn and sex trafficking of children.

Ralph Shortey leaves court earlier this year

The transporting child pornography charges stem from an incident when Shortey allegedly used his smartphone and an AOL email address to email a sexually explicit video involving a prepubescent girl and another sexually explicit video involving young boys to two email addresses, according to court documents.

The child sex trafficking charge is in reference to the report from March involving a teenage boy.

In March, the Moore Police Department released a redacted report containing details of an incident at a motel between then-Sen. Ralph Shortey and a 17-year-old.

When police went to check on a juvenile at the Super 8 in Moore earlier this month, officers said they smelled a “strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from Room 120.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn confirmed that the teen was found in the motel room with Sen. Shortey.

Ralph Shortey

A Kindle tablet revealed the teen had told the adult that he needed money for spring break, to which the adult, believed to be Shortey, responded, “would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”

“He offered him money for sexual contact, he then picked up that minor and took him to a hotel for that purpose,” Susan Caswell, Cleveland County first assistant district attorney, told KFOR after charges were filed.

If convicted of the charges, Shortey faces mandatory minimum sentences on each count.

Those sentences range from five years in prison to up to life in prison.