A former Republican state senator convicted of child sex trafficking and scheduled for sentencing was living a secret online life according to records in the case unsealed last week, News9 reports.
Ralph Shortey, 36, was arrested in March 2017 after Oklahoma police found him in a Super Eight motel room with an underage boy.
Shortey, a married father of four, then claimed he did not know that the boy is 17 years old. Cops were acting on a tip from the boy’s father when they went to the suburban Oklahoma City motel and said they smelled marijuana coming from the room.
Records in the case included 14 ads posted by Shortey on Craigslist, with one ad identifies him as, “…a married guy looking for a boy…” and requests, “…younger the better…”
Using fake names online, Shortey asks for correspondence and photos. He exchanged nude pictures with the 17-year-old victim he was caught in the room, records show.
The former state senator pleaded guilty in November to child sex trafficking in exchange for prosecutors dismissing three child pornography charges as part of a plea agreement.
Shortey was a strong Trump supporter during the 2016 presidential campaign and was the campaign’s state chairman in the Oklahoma Republican primary, which Trump won. “I am proud and honored to have been tapped as Chairman of the campaign for Oklahoma,” Shortey posted to Facebook on September 2015, according to The Lost Ogle.