A former Republican Oklahoma state
senator this week responded to three charges relating to child
Ralph Shortey, 35, last week was
charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution
within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting a minor for
According to NBC
affiliate KFOR, Shortey made an initial court appearance on
Friday and the judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
The appearance comes two days after
Shortey resigned from his Senate seat.
According to an affidavit, Shortey was
found with a 17-year-old runaway boy at a Super 8 motel in Moore,
Oklahoma with evidence of condoms and a smell of marijuana. Police
said the two met about a year ago through a Craigslist personal
encounter ad. A friend of the teen saw him get into an SUV near his
home and followed them to the motel. The friend called the teen's
father, who alerted police, according to court documents.
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, 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.
He faces up to 25 years in prison, if
convicted on all counts.