President Donald Trump’s campaign chair and Oklahoma state senator, Ralph Shortey, is facing at least three charges from police in Moore after he was caught in an allegedly compromising position with an underage boy in a motel.
A redacted police reports suggests the boy’s father alerted the police that his son had walked into a Super 8 motel with an adult man and was concerned because the teenager had a habit of selling sexual favors through Craigslist and was a drug abuser.
Employees at the motel told police that a person by the name of “Ralph Allen Shortey” checked in shortly after midnight and police arrived about 30 minutes later, responding to the “welfare check.”
A senior Moore Police Department officer, Master Sgt. J. White, and two other police officers arrived at the motel and smelled the odor of raw marijuana filtering through the door, according to police reports. No one answered the door when the police knocked but then somebody answered, asking why the police were there. After the officers threatened to open the door with a master key, the door opened and Shortey and the boy emerged from the room.
DA Mashburn tells me he has not seen a report from police on Shortey investigation, has only been called. I'm told the boy is 16/17. @kfor— Abby Broyles (@abbybroyles) March 14, 2017
The 35-year-old senator, who is married and is a father of two, said he was just hanging out with a friend but when police searched a backpack for marijuana, they found a bottle of lotion and an open packet of condoms.
Shortey told the police the teenager had brought him to the hotel room and they had been texting for more than a year. When the police searched an online conversation between the two, they saw the juvenile had asked for money and Shortey had acquiesced with a request for “sexual stuff.”
Police are recommending the Republican be charged with soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1,000 feet of church and transporting for the purpose of prostitution.
Sen Shortey charges: soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1k feet of church & transporting purpose of prostitution.— Bret Buganski (@KOCOBret) March 15, 2017
After the news went public, State Democratic Chairman Mark Hammons called for Shortey to suspend himself in a statement:
“While a final resolution should await completion of the police investigation, Sen. Ralph Shortey owes it to his constituents and all taxpayers to suspend himself from all official activities. This is far too embarrassing to have him speak, vote or represent Oklahoma on any issue.”
In a statement Oklahoma GOP Chairperson Pam Pollard said, “We condemn the actions of Sen. Ralph Shortey to the strongest degree. 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.”
To the young, male victim of #RalphShortey— Jackson ?? (@jacksonweaver17) March 16, 2017
You matter. You're important. This isn't your fault.
These are the people who enabled a monster to obtain a position of public trust. #ralphshortey— Lajka in Orbit (@lajkainorbit) March 16, 2017
For now, Shortey has been stripped of all his committee assignments by the state Senate and lost his office, parking spot, computer and intern.