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Sentencing date rescheduled for former Oklahoma senator convicted of child sex trafficking

OKLAHOMA CITY – The sentencing date for a former Oklahoma senator convicted of child sex trafficking has been rescheduled.

In November of 2017, Ralph Shortey pleaded guilty to one count of child sex trafficking in exchange for his other child pornography charges to be dropped.

His attorney filed a motion for a time extension regarding the sentencing. That motion was granted, and Shortey’s sentencing date was set for Sept. 5.

However, his sentencing date has now been rescheduled to September 17.

In March of 2017, the Moore Police Department released a redacted report containing details of an incident at a motel between then-Sen. Shortey and a 17-year-old.

When police went to check on a juvenile at the Super 8 in Moore in March of 2017, officers said they smelled a “strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from Room 120.

Ralph Shortey

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

A Kindle tablet revealed the teen had told the adult that he needed money for spring break, to which the adult, 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.

According to an affidavit, the teen told authorities that he and Shortey have known each other for about one year.  He said they originally met last year through a Craigslist personal encounter ad.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn filed three felony charges against Shortey, including engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution.

Those charges were dismissed after Shortey was charged in federal court with two counts of transportation of child pornography, production of child pornography and child sex trafficking.

Because he pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking, the other two counts were dropped.

The minimum punishment for the crime is 10 years in prison. He could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison.