Senator Ralph Shortey had been a strong proponent of a ‘get tough’ criminal justice policy. In fact, when the voters of Oklahoma passed a referendum to reduce simple drug possession from a felony, to a misdemeanor, Shortey led the charge to convince the legislature to nullify that act during the 2017 session. That endeavor failed in a dramatic way.
With spring break approaching, Ralph was approached by a teen male whom he had developed a relationship. Shortey had been volunteering at a local youth program, in Moore, OK; and had many such contacts. The boy wanted some spending money and Ralph texted back, inquiring if he was open to “sex stuff”.
The text was intercepted by the boy’s girlfriend, who alerted the boy’s parents. They found Senator Shortey and the boy at a local hotel, and police eventually convinced Shortey to come out. Police reports indicate that the room’s air was strong with the stench of marijuana smoke.
Multiple charges were filed within days and the Senate revoked all of Shortey’s privileges.
Shortey resigned his seat and began preparations for a criminal trial.