Ralph Shortey, a former Oklahoma state senator who served in 2016 as Donald Trump’s campaign chair in the state, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy DeGiusti to 15 years in federal prison for child sex trafficking.
Shortey will also face 10 years of supervised probation when he is released from prison, according to NBC News.
The 36-year-old married father of three resigned from the state Legislature in March after being charged with several felonies, including engaging in child prostitution, after police found him in a hotel room with a 17-year-old male. He pleaded guilty in November to a child sex-trafficking charge.
According to court documents, Shortey and teen connected on Craigslist in February 2016. From then until March, Shortey “obtained at least one image of John Doe’s penis.” On March 8, the teen messaged Shortey saying, I need money for spring break.”
“I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now,” Shortey reportedly said. “Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”
Following a tip from the teen’s father, police went searching for the teen at a Super 8 Motel in Moore, Oklahoma, on March 9, at a room rented with Shortey’s driver’s license and credit card.
When officers knocked on the door, Shortey told them he and the teen were getting dressed.
“When Shortey opened the door, Doe left the room with his backpack, which contained a bottle of lotion,” the police report stated. “Inside the room, Moore Police offers found Shortey’s backpack. Shortey’s backpack contained an open box of condoms and a laptop computer.”
NBC News notes that while the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16, child prostitution statutes apply to anyone under 18.