You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Indictment Unsealed Charging Former State Senator with Child Pornography and Child Sex Trafficking Offenses

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – An indictment was unsealed today charging RALPH ALLAN LEE SHORTEY, 35, of Oklahoma City, with federal crimes involving child pornography and child sex trafficking, announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

 

On September 5, 2017, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Shortey. Counts 1 and 2 charge him with using a facility of interstate commerce on October 10 and 15, 2013, to transport child pornography. In particular, these child pornography counts allege Shortey used his smartphone to send a video involving a prepubescent girl and videos involving young boys from his AOL email address to a Hotmail address and a Yahoo! address. Count 3 alleges Shortey produced child pornography by persuading a minor identified as John Doe to send him at least one image of Doe’s penis. This count alleges Shortey began communicating with Doe on Kik, a social media application, in February 2016 and that the production of child pornography took place between February 14, 2016, and March 8, 2017.

 

Count 4 charges Shortey with child sex trafficking for soliciting a minor to engage in a commercial sex act on March 8 and 9, 2017. According to the indictment, Doe advised Shortey via Kik on March 8 that he needed money for spring break. Shortey is alleged to have replied: "I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?" The indictment states that after Doe responded "yes," the Kik conversation included explicit references to sexual conduct. The indictment further alleges that just after midnight on March 9, Shortey drove Doe from Doe’s house to a Super 8 Motel in Moore, Oklahoma, where Shortey rented a room with his credit card. Based on information provided by Doe’s father, officers of the Moore Police Department knocked on the motel room door at approximately 1:00 a.m. and allegedly discovered Doe with Shortey, whose backpack contained an open box of condoms.

 

If convicted, Shortey faces mandatory minimum sentences on each count. Counts 1 and 2 carry no less than 5 and up to 20 years in prison. Count 3 carries no less than 15 and up to 30 years in prison. And Count 4 carries no less than 10 years and up to life in prison. Shortey would also face supervised release after incarceration of at least 5 years and up to life, in addition to fines of up to $250,000 per count, mandatory restitution, $100 special assessments on Counts 1 and 2, and $5,000 special assessments on Counts 3 and 4.

 

Count 4 relates to facts charged in a three-count information filed in Cleveland County District Court on March 16, 2017, in case number CF-2017-430. In light of the federal indictment, that information will be dismissed. "I believe this case is best handled in one venue and have every confidence the U.S. Attorney’s Office will prosecute this matter expeditiously," said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn. "It was an honor to work with the various law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation."

 

The public is reminded these charges are merely accusations and that Shortey is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Reference is made to court filings for further information.

 

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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 are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 7, 2017