Police on Thursday filed felony prostitution charges against Republican Oklahoma state senator and former state campaign chair for Donald Trump Ralph Shortey after officers found him in a hotel room with a 17-year-old boy.
Dressed in a black suit and light blue tie, Shortey surrendered at the Cleveland County Jail in Norman, one day after being charged with one count of engaging in child prostitution, one count of engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and one count of transporting a minor for prostitution.
Their text messages, going back almost a year, were recorded on the teenager's Kindle tablet that was confiscated as evidence, police said.
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"The defendant replied, "I don't really have any legitimate things I need help with right now". Before charges were filed, Oklahoma Democrats and Republicans took the investigation seriously, with Oklahoma Democrats calling for Shortey to suspend his role in political office before any official charges were revealed. They found Shortey and the teen alone inside.
A search of the teen's tablet uncovered a series of sexually explicit exchanges in which offered him cash in exchange for 'sexual stuff, ' according to a police report.
The district attorney has confirmed the adult is Shortey. Ralph Shortey has clearly failed to achieve this minimum standard and had rightfully lost his senate privileges. Reports say that Shortey was found standing behind the door. In a statement following its passage, Schulz said it was not meant to be "a presumption of guilt or innocence". Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn is awaiting the investigator's final report before pursuing criminal charges.
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"The Oklahoma Senate has full faith that the judicial system will play out appropriately and bring this matter to a lawful conclusion", Schulz said in a statement after the resolution's passage.
Shortey was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 2010. Ralph Shortey was hanging out in a hotel room last Thursday with a teenage boy.
More recently, Shortey threw his support behind the Trump-led crackdown on so-called "sanctuary cities", alleging that undocumented immigrants from Central America were engaged in child sex trafficking.
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The travel offer came from the State Department, and "after editorial consultation, McPike accepted the seat", he said. Tillerson's aircraft for the trip to Asia, where the secretary of state began his diplomatic visit in Japan Wednesday.
Shortey, who was not present in the Senate chamber when the resolution was adopted without opposition, was also not in his Capitol office Wednesday and has not responded to requests for comment.