Ralph Shortey, Oklahoma Lawmaker, Hit With Child Prostitution Charges
Shortey potentially faces three charges: soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting for the objective of prostitution. Ralph Shortey (R) were filed Thursday, one week after he and the teenager were found at a Super 8 motel in Moore, Okla., just south of Oklahoma City, according to an affidavit.
A senior member of Donald Trump's Oklahoma campaign team is being investigated after he was found in a motel room with a teenage boy, police said.
An arrest warrant was issued for Shortey on Thursday after the charges were filed. Among other things, it removes Shortey from membership and leadership of various Senate committees, bars him from occupying his office and reserved parking spot at the Capitol, blocks his expense allowances and authorship of bills, and revokes his right to have an executive assistant. The Oklahoma age of consent is 16, meaning there is at least a 20-year age gap between the 35-year-old senator and the underage teen. Ralph Shortey was suspended for "disorderly behavior".
According to the senate's website, Shortey attended a Baptist Bible college in Oklahoma City before providing mission work overseas. The friend is a 17-year-old boy whose parents told police "has a history of soliciting himself on Craigslist for sexual conduct".
"We will wait for the investigation to be completed before commenting on the charges, but right now our thoughts and prayers are with the young man who appears to be the victim in this situation." .
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But Shortey will still receive his $38,400 salary and be allowed to vote. Many of his peers in the Oklahoma Senate are calling for him to step aside.
The texts, which had been going on for about a year, were found on the teenager's Kindle tablet that was confiscated as evidence, police added.
The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay reports that Cleveland County district attorney Greg Mashburn is awaiting an investigator's final report before making a decision about pressing charges.
Oklahoma GOP Chairperson Pam Pollard said in a statement: 'We condemn the actions of Senator Ralph Shortey to the strongest degree. "Responding officers found a juvenile male in a hotel room which was also occupied by an adult male".
Authorities say the two then went on to talk about the logistics of their meeting - and about bringing marijuana to the motel.
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