Ralph Shortey Ephesians 5:22

Police body cam video published today by Oklahoma City Fox 25 reporter Caroline Vandergriff on Twitter appears to show then-Sen. Ralph Shortey wearing a T-shirt featuring the Bible verse “Ephesians 5:22” when he was confronted in a Moore motel room with a 17-year-old boy.

Shortey pleaded guilty Thursday to child sex trafficking and is awaiting sentencing.

The shirt appears to note Ephesians 5:22, a part of the New Testament that calls for a wife to “submit” herself to her husband. From‘s New International Version translation:

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Shortey’s shirt features a large, cartoonish sandwich and an indecipherable line of text below the image. In popular culture and even theological discussions, the Bible verse has been referenced in conjunction with a joke about a man telling his wife, “Make me a sandwich.”

Watch the video

In the 31-second video embedded above — recorded the evening of Thursday, March 9 — Shortey is confronted by a Moore police officer and has a brief conversation about the young man in question.

Officer: He’s 17.
Shortey: OK.
Officer: What do you mean okay?
Shortey: I didn’t know that.
Officer: OK, but you got a 17 year old hangin’ out with ya.
Shortey: Yeah, I mean–
Officer: Dad’s worried. You understand that?
Shortey: Yeah, I didn’t know.
Officer: OK, you got a ID on ya. [Shortey starts to get up.] Is there any other drugs in here other than weed?
Shortey: No, I did not bring–
Officer: Is there any guns in here?
Shortey: No, sir.
Officer: OK.
Shortey: Can you show me that he’s only 17?
Officer: [Laughing] No, I can’t. But I can convince you that he is.
Shortey: [Unintelligible]
Officer: I can put you in handcuffs and throw you in the back of the car.

Shortey Background

Shortey was first elected to OKC’s State Senate District 44 as a Republican in 2010 after Democratic Sen. Debbe Leftwich announced she would not seek re-election. A judge ultimately found Leftwich guilty of accepting a bribe — to fill a newly created state position — in exchange for not seeking office. Then-Rep. Randy Terrill of Moore was also found guilty in the scheme. He served prison time, while Leftwich’s sentence was deferred.


Ralph Shortey

‘Gang bang’: Read the full FBI affidavit on Ralph Shortey by William W. Savage III

William W. Savage III (Tres) holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.