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Oklahoma police release interview with former state senator

February 14, 2018

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — Police released an edited interview from last year that shows a former Oklahoma state senator denying that he took a 17-year-old to a motel for sex.

Moore police released the video interview with then-Sen. Ralph Shortey on Tuesday, The Oklahoman reported.

The video shows police reading graphic messages Shortey allegedly sent to the victim under a fake name. Shortey is seen denying that he sent the messages, saying that the two had communicated by phone but there were “no sexual intentions that night.”

Shorty resigned last March after he was arrested on state charges of engaging in child prostitution and transporting a minor for prostitution.

Police were called to the motel on March 9, 2017, to do a welfare check at the request of teen’s father. Shortey was found with the victim, who police alleged had been hired for sex.

Shortey admitted wrongdoing in court months later, saying he knew the teen was underage at the time.

A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Shortey in September. The state charges were dismissed following the federal indictment.

A two-term Republican from Oklahoma City, Shortey pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking in November in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping three child pornography charges against him. He faces between 10 years and life in prison.

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