Shortey Resigns After Being Charged With Engaging In Child Prostitution

Wednesday, March 22nd 2017, 11:00 pm
By: News On 6

The Republican senator charged with engaging in child prostitution resigned Wednesday.

Ralph Shortey stepped down from his seat a day before fellow senators said they would kick him out.

Prosecutors say he offered cash to a 17-year-old boy in exchange for sexual acts. Shortey has a court hearing Friday where he'll likely plead not guilty.

Just hours after accepting his resignation, State Capitol staff removed Shortey's name from the Senate Board.

3/22/2017 Related Story: Sen. Ralph Shortey Resigns Days After Arrest For Child Prostitution

Moore Police started their investigation into Shortey about two weeks ago when they found him in a hotel with a 17-year-old boy whom they believe is a prostitute.

Shortey now faces three felony charges related to child prostitution.

Some senators said they would have forced Shortey out on Thursday but his own resignation came first.

The letter is only three sentences long:

"I hereby resign effective immediately from the Senate of the State of Oklahoma. It has been my honor to serve the constituents of the 44th senate district since 2010. I recognize the need for the business of the senate to proceed without distraction for the remainder of the legislative session."

Democrats call the scandal an embarrassment for the legislature, and even hypocritical, considering Shortey's stance on past anti-LGBTQ legislation such as the transgender bathroom bill.

"For him to allegedly have committed crimes like this, and I think the evidence is pretty strong that he did commit those crimes. For him to say the things he's said in the past about the LGBTQ community, about a number of communities, and then himself to have committed these crimes is just very disappointing," said Democrat Emily Virgin.

Fallin has 30 days to fill Shortey's seat and a lawyer in Oklahoma City has already announced he's running for the spot.

But because special elections are so expensive, the state will likely not hold one this legislative session.