Former state senator ordered to pay over $125,000 in restitution to child sex trafficking victim

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OKLAHOMA CITY — A former Oklahoma lawmaker sentenced for child sex trafficking has been ordered to pay more than $125,000 in restitution.

Former state Sen. Ralph Shortey is serving a 15 year prison sentence at a facility in Seagoville, Texas after pleading guilty in Nov. 2017. Police caught Shortey in March 2017 in a Moore hotel room with a then 17-year-old boy.

The teenager said the two had kissed and “fooled around” when police officers arrived.

$125,850 will go to the victim.

“The victim can choose to go to treatment with it or not. It’s part of the judge’s order, it was based on treatment needs — but there’s nothing that says the victim has to use it for treatment or anything in particular,” said Shortey’s attorney Ed Blau.

Federal prosecutors had requested a total of $535,000 in restitution to include mental, psychiatric and psychological treatment along with the victim’s estimated lost income resulting from Shortey’s offense.

The victim “did not complete high school, largely because of the trauma and victimization caused by the Defendant. The Social Security Administration calculates that individuals who do not complete high school high lifetime earnings reduced by approximately $410,000, not accounting for inflation,” a filed motion states.

In court Thursday, the judge rejected the argument made for future loss of earnings stating it was “speculative.” He also noted the victim had earned his GED; therefore, he has completed high school.

Blau said he felt the order was fair.

“When we pled guilty, we knew we would have to pay restitution. It was just in the amount and I think he was prepared for the amount the judge ordered,” he told News 4. “By statute, my client was ordered to pay $125,000 immediately. Obviously, he’s incarcerated — he’s not going to be able to do that so what they will do is they’ll take a certain amount off his books each month. I mean, it may be five or ten bucks and once he’s ultimately released from custody — he’ll have to make restitution payments.”

Shortey does not have the right to appeal.

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