Former state Sen. Ralph Shortey was federally indicted Wednesday, five months after police found him in a hotel room with a 17-year-old boy. Shortey, 35, turned himself into federal authorities early Wednesday morning.
The indictment filed in U.S. District Court (District of Oklahoma) remained under seal until Wednesday afternoon, making for a significantly more discreet surrender than he’d made in the past. News9 has learned that the federal charges are child pornography and sex trafficking.
Read the indictment:
In March, Shortey was arraigned on state charges for engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church.
“We haven't had a chance to review all of the documents,” said Ed Blau, the prominent OKC defense attorney Shortey retained in March, ”so, at this time, a comment would not be appropriate.”
Shortey had no comment on Wednesday.
The FBI confirmed earlier this year that it was assisting the Moore Police Department when agents served a search warrant at Shortey’s home in March.
The items collected during that search is the most probable explanation for the indictment, though, not even Shortey’s defense attorney knew of its contents ahead of the arraignment.
“It is my understanding there is an indictment under seal and until the judge orders it unsealed then it would be inappropriate for me to speculate or comment on its content,” said Blau.
Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, resigned from the senate six days after he was accused in the state’s child prostitution case. The resignation was effective immediately.
Shortey was released Wednesday under several conditions. He is required to wear an ankle monitor, not allowed to speak with victims or witnesses, and must avoid contact with children other than his own.He is also subject to computer monitoring and restricted from viewing pornography.