State Sen. Ralph Shortey has turned himself in at the Cleveland County Jail Thursday afternoon after he was charged following an incident at a Moore motel on March 9. The Cleveland County District attorney filed charges of engaging in child prostitution, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting minor for prostitution.
Around 2:00 p.m. Thursday, Shortey posted his $100,000 bond.
Court documents just obtained by News 9 state Shortey offered a 17-year-old boy money in exchange for sexual contact. All three charges are felonies.
Moore Police say they were called shortly before 1 a.m. to a room at the Super 8 Motel, located at 1520 N. Service Road in Moore, to conduct a welfare check. When officers arrived to the door of the room, they said they could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the room.
When officers knocked on the door, an adult male said no other person was with him in the room. When police advised the man that they would have management open the door, the man opened the door and a juvenile male tried to exit the room with the man standing behind the door.
Police were told that both individuals knew each other for about a year and had been involved in marijuana transactions. Officers also say they discovered a text conversation via an app called Kik.
Police say the incident happened just 936 feet from the First Christian Church, 629 N.W. 12th St. in Moore.
Several prominent politicians, including Gov. Mary Fallin, have issued statements calling for Shortey’s resignation:
Ralph Shortey should resign his seat in the Senate. The charges against him do not reflect the character and decorum that we expect of an elected official. It is not acceptable. In the meantime, there's a criminal justice system in place to review the allegations. We should respect the process and allow it to work as designed.
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb released a statement Thursday morning:
Oklahomans deserve to be represented by those above reproach. Ralph Shortey has clearly failed to achieve this minimum standard and had rightfully lost his senate privileges.
As a former law enforcement official, I commend the swift actions of the Moore Police Department and the Cleveland County District Attorney's office.
In light of the charges filed against him, Ralph Shortey should resign from his seat so the good people of southwest Oklahoma City can move forward with electing a new state Senator.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz requested an immediate resignation from Shortey, saying: "In light of the criminal charges filed against you today, I respectfully request on behalf of the Oklahoma State Senate your immediate resignation as Senator of District 44."
Senate Democrats have also called on Shortey to resign immediately:
In light of the disturbing evidence and charges filed by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s office, Senator Shortey should immediately resign from his seat.
Remaining a member of the Senate is not an option for Sen. Shortey. His constituents deserve a senator focused on the needs and concerns of southwest Oklahoma City. Given the gravity of these events, Sen. Shortey will clearly not be able to do that.
We are calling on him to make the right choice for the citizens of Senate District 44, as well the State of Oklahoma, and immediately tender his resignation from our august body.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the alleged victim as well as Senator Shortey’s family.
News 9 is reading through the most recent court documents now. Look for updates throughout the day.
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