Three felony child prostitution charges filed against Senator Ralph Shortey, Trump’s Oklahoma campaign leader
An Oklahoma state senator charged with child prostitution turned himself into authorities Thursday, a week after police found him a motel room with a 17-year-old boy.
Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey, a leader of President Trump’s Oklahoma primary campaign, was charged in Cleveland County with engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church.
While the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16, the state’s prostitution statute applies to any person under the age of 18.
A tip from the teen’s father led Moore police officers to a Super 8 last week. They smelled marijuana coming from one of the rooms and discovered Shortey and the teenager inside, along with a box of condoms and lotion.
Police additionally uncovered a slew of sexually explicit messages between Shortey and the boy, including one in which the 35-year-old Republican offered him money in exchange for “sexual stuff,” according to a police report cited by the newspaper.
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday imposed sanctions against Shortey, voting unanimously for a resolution that accuses him of “disorderly conduct.”
The resolution forces the politician out of his office, strips him of leadership roles on several Senate committees, and blocks him from penning new bills.
“No person, particularly a child, should be subjected to sex crimes,” said Pam Pollard, chair of the Oklahoma Republican party. “While we believe in the right to a fair trial and that all people deserve their day in court, the accusations against Ralph Shortey are in no way in line with the principles of the Oklahoma Republican Party.”
Senate officials told Fox News Shortey would still be allowed to vote and that he will continue to receive his $38,400 annual salary as a senator.