Okla. State Senator Hit With Child Prostitution Charges

Cops say they found Ralph Shortey with 17-year-old boy in motel room smelling of pot
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2017 11:19 AM CDT
Okla. State Senator Hit With Child Prostitution Charges
Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, speaks during a Senate committee meeting in Oklahoma City on Feb. 22, 2017.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

On Wednesday, Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey was suspended for "disorderly behavior." On Thursday, more details emerged as Shortey was charged with three felonies involving child prostitution, the Oklahoman reports. The charges came out of a police bust on March 9, when cops say they found Shortey at a Super 8 motel in Moore with a 17-year-old boy in a room stinking of pot. An investigation was kicked off after the boy's girlfriend called his dad, who in turn contacted the authorities, per the Tulsa World. Police say they came across a text on one of the teen's devices that indicated the boy was looking to make money for spring break, to which they believe Shortey, using a screen name, responded, "Would you be interested in 'sexual' stuff?"

Cops say they also found an open pack of condoms with Shortey's belongings; the teen told them he'd known the senator for a year or so and that they'd hooked up through a Craigslist personal ad, per the court affidavit. A judge has set bail for the 35-year-old Shortey, who's married with children, at $100,000, though he hasn't yet turned himself in. (Cleveland County prosecutors say he'll be arrested if he doesn't.) Shortey has been charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution. Meanwhile, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb is asking for the GOP senator's resignation, noting that "Oklahomans deserve to be represented by those above reproach." (Some think child prostitutes are the ones who should be arrested.)

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