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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

Friday, February 1, 2019

Former Oklahoma State Senator Ordered to Pay Over $125,000 to Child Victim

OKLAHOMA CITY – RALPH ALLEN LEE SHORTEY has been ordered to pay $125,850.00 to the victim he was convicted of obtaining for commercial sex, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Shortey pleaded guilty on November 30, 2017, to one count of child sex trafficking.  In particular, he admitted he solicited a minor identified as "John Doe" to engage in a commercial sex act on March 8 and 9, 2017.  Shortey was serving as an Oklahoma State Senator at the time of the offense.  He resigned in March 2017, shortly after his conduct led the Cleveland County District Attorney to charge him with state crimes.

A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Shortey on September 5, 2017.  That indictment included three counts relating to child pornography: emailing videos of a prepubescent girl and young boys in October 2013 and producing child pornography by persuading John Doe to send him a sexually explicit image.  As a result of a plea agreement, the United States dismissed these counts.

On September 17, 2018, U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti sentenced Shortey to prison for 180 months, or fifteen years, in addition to ten years of supervised release.

On January 31, 2019, the court conducted an evidentiary hearing to determine how much Shortey must pay his victim.  Dr. Robyn Cowperthwaite of the University of Oklahoma testified for the United States regarding her assessment of the victim and her recommended course of treatment.  Based on this testimony, Judge DeGiusti ordered Shortey to pay his victim $125,850.00, the cost of the recommended treatment.

This restitution award flows from the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking, including a focus on securing resources and restitution for victims.  In 2018, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys ("EOUSA"), the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section published a quick reference guide entitled “Restitution for Human Trafficking Victims,” which assists federal prosecutors in obtaining restitution for human trafficking victims.  EOUSA also developed a "Toolkit" that provides information on practices, procedures, models, and forms employed in various U.S. Attorney’s Offices that are helpful in obtaining restitution for victims.

This case was the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Moore Police Department, with assistance from the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys K. McKenzie Anderson and Brandon Hale prosecuted the case.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 1, 2019