After former senator Ralph Shortey pleaded guilty in federal court to child trafficking charges, the US Attorney's Office gave Moore Police the go-ahead to release body camera footage from the night that launched the investigation.
It shows Moore Police officers pull up to the Super 8 Motel off of I-35 on March 9 for a welfare check. They peak into Shortey's parked SUV and then start knocking on his room door.
Shortey told officers everything was good from the inside, but wouldn’t immediately open up.
“Can I ask why?” He could be heard saying. Police responded, “Yeah, because you have a juvenile in your hotel room.” The footage of the 17-year-old found in his room has been redacted.
But eventually, Shortey came to the door. “I’m right here,” he told police. “Come out before you get me worried. Show me your hands,” the officer said. “What’s going on?” Shortey asked. “What’s going on with you, man?” The officer asked.
“Just trying to have a good evening,” Shortey replied. “A good time? Yeah,” the officer said.
Investigators continued to question him as he sat on the edge of the bed, visibly flustered.
“I’m sorry guys, you’re kind of freaking me out a little bit,” he said. “Yeah, that’s what we do,” the officer told him. “He is 17.” “OK,” Shortey said.
“What do you mean ‘OK?’” The officer asked. “I didn’t know,” Shortey could be heard saying.
“OK, you’ve got a 17-year-old hanging out with you … dad’s worried,” the officer said. “You understand that?”
Shortey told investigators he met the boy at his coffee shop and they were hanging out that night. An officer asked to search his backpack and Shortey told him he didn’t mind. “I smell raw marijuana is what I can smell,” the officer searching the bag explained.
Another officer told Shortey, “You can live your life however you want to live it, but when you start to do it with kids and stuff, it starts to become a serious, serious problem.”
Shortey reportedly faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.