Washington (Web Desk): A former Oklahoma state senator who served as the county campaign coordinator for President Trump’s 2016 campaign has agreed to plead guilty to a child sex trafficking charge.
Republican Ralph Shortey resigned in March, days after he was charged with soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy.
Shortey is slated to plead guilty on Nov. 30, two weeks ahead of his planned trial. Prosecutors will drop three counts of child pornography against Shortey as part of the plea deal.
“Mr. Shortey feels this is a necessary step in putting this painful and humiliating ordeal behind him, for both himself, his family and for the state of Oklahoma,” Shortey’s attorney Ed Blau said on Friday.
Newsweek reports that Shortey could still face life in prison, the maximum sentence for child sex trafficking. The former senator, who is married with four children, is due to be sentenced in early 2018.
Shortey surrendered to police on March 9 after being charged with engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church.
The charges were filed after police found Shortey and the 17-year-old boy at a Super 8 Hotel in Moore, Oklahoma.
Shortey was later indicted in federal court on two counts of child pornography, production of child pornography and child sex trafficking.
Investigators also found messages between Shortey and the teen, in which Shortey allegedly offered to pay the boy in exchange for “sexual stuff.”
Shortey, a two-term former Oklahoma state senator, was first elected in 2010 on a “family values” conservative platform. He was an early supporter of Trump and in the fall of 2015 was named part of the campaign’s leadership team in Oklahoma.