Oklahoma state Senator Ralph Shortey on
Thursday turned himself in to authorities who have charged him with child
The 35-year-old Republican lawmaker was
charged in Cleveland County District Court with engaging in child
prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church
and transporting a minor for prostitution. Bail was set at $100,000.
The charges come a week after he and a
17-year-old boy were found at a Super 8 motel in Moore, Oklahoma,
to an affidavit. Police said the two met about a year ago
through a Craigslist personal encounter ad.
Identified in the affidavit as J.M.,
the teen told Shortey that he needed money for spring break.
“I don't really have any legitimate
things I need help with right now,” Shortey wrote on the messaging
app Kik. “Would you be interested in 'sexual' stuff?”
“Yes,” J.M. responded, according to
Shortey and the teen told police that
they were smoking marijuana when they arrived at the hotel.
Shortey, a graduate of Heartland
Baptist Bible College and an early supporter of Donald Trump's
presidential campaign, describes himself as an opponent of illegal
immigration and a proponent of strengthening public safety in
Oklahoma. He and his wife have three children.
Governor Mary Fallin has joined other
GOP leaders in calling for Shortey to resign.
“Ralph Shortey should resign his seat
in the Senate,” Fallin said in a statement. “The charges against
him do not reflect the character and decorum that we expect of an
elected official. It is not acceptable.”