Ralph Shortey was known within Oklahoma as a Republican state senator who supported anti-gay legislation, but newly released police video shows a very different side of him -- as a man caught in a hotel sex sting with an underage boy.
Shortey was arrested earlier this year at a hotel in Oklahoma with an underage male and eventually pleaded guilty to child prostitution and pornography charges. But a newly released video has shined new light on the incident, showing the Republican lawmaker wearing a shirt with a Bible verse on it as officers busted him in the hotel room.
The New York Post published a copy of the video, which showed officers from the Moore Police Department knocking on the hotel door after the boy's father had called to place a welfare check on the teenager. The officers discussed the circumstances, surmising that it may have been a drug deal involving prostitution.
"Well, drug-related, maybe," an officer said. "Maybe was coming here to buy some weed. Either here for narcotics, or prostitution for narcotics."
"Like the kid's prostituting himself out?" another officer replied.
Police did find a small amount of marijuana along with condoms and lotion in Shortey's bag. As the video showed, Shortey wore a shirt that made reference to the Bible verse Ephesians 5:22, which called on women to submit to their husbands. After being told that the boy was only 17, Shortey asked officers if they could prove that the boy was underage.
At that point, the Republican state senator was arrested."I can't," an officer replied. "But I can convince you that he is. I can put you in handcuffs and throw you in the back of the car."
Video of the bust can be seen below.
Even before his arrest, Ralph Shortey had made national headlines for some of his far-right proposals. In 2012, he put forward a bill that would have banned aborted fetuses in food products, which Shortey said he was inspired to write after reading an article online about an anti-abortion group claiming that embryonic stem cells were being used in the development of some artificial sweeteners. As HuffPost noted, there was never any evidence of that happening.
Ralph Shortey is now headed off to jail for his underage sex sting, and he has felt political ramifications as well. The state senator resigned his position earlier this year.