Published March 17, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Ralph Shortey, a GOP state senator in the Oklahoma legislature, was arrested Thursday on child prostitution charge for allegedly hiring a 17-year-old boy. Shortey is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. He grew up in Oklahoma.
Shortey, 35, is married to a woman and has three young daughters. Last year, he served as the head of the Trump primary campaign in Oklahoma.
The charges stem from a call to the Moore Police Department from the parent of the 17-year-old boy who saw Shortey enter a Super 8 Motel room in Moore, Oklahoma. When police arrived they could smell a heavy scent of marijuana smoke coming from the room. When the police officers knocked on the door, they asked who was in the room. Shortey told them he was there alone and would not open the door. When told they would open the door with the motel’s master key, Shortey then opened the door. The 17-year-old boy fled the room.
When asked what was going on in the room, Shortey told them the two were just hanging out.
Upon further investigation, police discovered a Kindle tablet that had several messages between Shortey and the youth. The messages are allegedly filled with strong sexual content.
The two have since told law enforcement they met though a personal encounter ad on Craiglist over a year ago.
Charges against Shortey are engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church.
Shortey turned himself into authorities on Thursday and was released after posting a $100,000 bond.
“I have no comment at this time, but I will soon,” he told reporters outside of the jail.
Fellow lawmakers have called for Shortey to resign his senate seat that covers part of Oklahoma City and its southern suburbs.
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