Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey charged with engaging in child prostitution
MOORE, Okla. – Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey was charged with engaging in child prostitution Thursday.
Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn filed three felony charges against Shortey, including engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution.
On Wednesday, the Moore Police Department released a redacted report containing details of the incident at a motel between Shortey and the 17-year-old.
When police went to check on a juvenile at the Super 8 in Moore last Thursday, officers said they smelled a “strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from Room 120.
A redacted Moore police report shows officers found a juvenile and an adult man inside.
The district attorney has confirmed the adult is Senator Ralph Shortey.
The 35-year-old republican is involved with teens on a regular basis through the YMCA Youth in government program and as a senior staffer at Boys State.
When asked why he was in that motel room, he said “he was just there to hang out with his friend.”
That friend is a teenage boy whose parents told police “has a history of soliciting himself on Craigslist for sexual conduct.”
Inside a backpack, police say they found an “open box of condoms.”
Some of the details in the report are unclear because of the redacted information, but it appears the teen told his girlfriend earlier that “he was going to get paid tonight.”
She says she watched the teen and the adult known to be Shortey enter the hotel room together.
A Kindle tablet revealed the teen had told the adult that he needed money for spring break, to which the adult, believed to be Shortey, responded, “would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”
An affidavit details several graphic exchanges between the two.
According to an affidavit, the teen told authorities that he and Shortey have known each other for about one year. He said they originally met last year through a Craigslist personal encounter ad.
The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday to suspend Shortey from all committees and strip his name from all legislation.
He can no longer occupy his office or parking spot and must return all state property in his possession.
Shortey’s seat was empty as the vote passed unanimously.
NewsChannel 4 has gone to Shortey’s home and called him repeatedly but only got his voicemail.
Shortey is married and has three children.
After the charges were filed, authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.