Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey is facing numerous charges from Moore police after he was caught in a Super 8 Motel room with a minor boy.
According to KOCO reporter Bret Buganski, police are recommending the Republican lawmaker be charged with soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1,000 feet of church and transporting purpose of prostitution.
“On March 9 … officers of the Moore Police Department were contacted in reference to a welfare check at a local hotel,” Lt. Kyle Dudley told NewsOK.com. “Responding officers found a juvenile male in a hotel room which was also occupied by an adult male. The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under investigation and no additional information can be released at this time.”
An employee of the hotel confirmed to KOCO that a man named “Ralph Allen Shortey” checked in at approximately 12:20 a.m. asking for a room with two beds. Just 30 minutes later the police arrived responding to a “welfare check,” though no one has come forward admitting to the call.
No one has been arrested and no charges have been filed, but text messages between the boy and Shortey are being investigated by police. Shortey’s legislative office door was found to have a note saying that he would be gone for the week.
Shortey was the state chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign during the primary elections.
“I am proud and honored to have been tapped as Chairman of the campaign for Oklahoma,” Shortey wrote on his Facebook Sept. 2015, according to The Lost Ogle. “We are very excited for the opportunity to have Mr. Trump here,” he said announcing a rally for Trump at the Oklahoma State Fair.
Shortey has been in office since 2010 and is most known for a bill he proposed to ban fetuses in food. NewsOK reports Shortey has been married to his high school sweetheart since 2002 and that he studied at Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City in preparation for mission work in Uganda. A direct mail piece sent to Shortey’s constituents show that he was also endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his opposition to immigration and immigrants and by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) for his “conservative principles.” Beth and Dog the Bounty Hunter hosted a rally for Shortey’s election in 2014.
“The Oklahoma Republican Party takes all accusations against elected officials seriously, especially when the welfare of a minor is involved,” Pam Pollard of the Oklahoma Republican Party said in a statement. “We have reached out to Senator Shortey for comment and have not heard back from him at this time. We await the report from law enforcement on whether charges will be filed.”
(Note: This article has been updated)