Former GOP lawmaker Ralph Shortey, who chaired Trump's campaign in Oklahoma, will plead guilty later this month to child sex trafficking charges — the very same crime he used to demonize immigrants.
Former Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey, who also served as the Trump’s campaign chair in the state, agreed this week to plead guilty to child sex trafficking charges after getting caught earlier this year offering to pay a teenage boy for sex.
According to The Oklahoman, Shortey was found in a hotel room with a teenage boy on March 9. A subsequent investigation by local and federal officials revealed a series of text messages in which Shortey offered to pay the teen in exchange for “sexual stuff.”
The victim later “confirmed that he and Shortey intended to have sexual contact and that they had agreed Shortey would pay him for the contact,” the paper reported, citing a court affidavit.
In exchange for the guilty plea, federal prosecutors agreed to drop three additional counts of child pornography against Shortey, who has since resigned from his state senate seat.
The investigation of the March incident uncovered evidence that Shortey had been living a secret life, using fake news to solicit sex and exchanging pornography with underage boys.
While all of that was going on, Shortey — an early supporter of Trump who would later go on to lead Trump’s state campaign — maintained a very different life in public.
In February, Shortey introduced a bill that would cut funding to cities or counties that adopt sanctuary policies protecting undocumented immigrants. The legislation was put forth as a growing number of localities declared themselves sanctuary cities in response to Trump’s new immigration policies.
Upon introducing the bill, Shortey said the measure was needed because illegal immigration could lead to all sorts of bad things — like human trafficking.
“When you incentivize illegal immigration, you incentivize a lot of bad things,” Shortey told NBC affiliate 4-KFOR. “There’s a trail of death from Honduras to the United States of America, and the families are giving their children and others over to coyotes and to human traffickers.”
Shortey accused immigrants of giving their children to traffickers just weeks before he was caught engaging in child sex trafficking.
This is just the latest example of a member of the so-called “party of family values” getting caught in a sex abuse scandal.
Just this week it was revealed that conservative activist Tony Perkins, one of Trump’s “faith advisers,” had covered up allegations of child sexual abuse against a GOP lawmaker.
And all of this comes amid the backdrop of mounting allegations of child sexual abuse against Alabama lawmaker Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.
While many prominent Republicans have distanced themselves from Moore, Trump has notably refused to rescind his endorsement of the accused sexual predator — likely because it would involve confronting his own sexual assault scandals.
But from state to state and all the way to Washington, the GOP can’t hide from the rank hypocrisy and appalling depravity increasingly coming to light from within the dark recesses of the party.