Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey was charged Thursday with with engaging in child prostitution, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for the purposes of prostitution. Shortey checked into a hotel with an underage male just after midnight last Thursday and police arrived 30 minutes later, responding to a welfare check.
Officers with the Moore Police Department noticed “the odor of marijuana emitting from the room,” according to a police report. Only when cops threatened to open the door with the motel’s master key did an underage boy allow officers into the room. Shortey was standing behind the door, the police report claims.
When police questioned the boy, he allegedly told them he had messaged with Shortey on Instagram and Kik, with Shortey posing under the name “Jamie Tilley.” Their most recent conversation had begun when the boy messaged Shortey.
“Is there anything I can help you do [for] some cash?” the boy wrote.
“How much you needing?” Shortey allegedly wrote back. When the boy answered that he needed money for spring break, Shortey allegedly replied:
“I don’t have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in some ‘sexual’ stuff?”
Later, apparently from outside the boy's home, Shortey messaged: “I’m here.”
The day after the motel bust, Shortey posted a photo with Donald Trump Jr. on Facebook.
“Was honoured to have lunch today with Donald Trump Jr. and some very influential and passionate bsiness leaders in our state,” Shortey wrote. “Loved hearing the war stories from the campaign trail and what the next phase is in restoring our republic. Looking forward to an exciting future and hope to be a big part of it.”
The Oklahoma state Senate voted on Wednesday to strip Shortey of all the privileges of holding elected office, including his office, parking space, and government-issued computer. He’ll still be able to vote, and collect his paychecks.
Shortey has represented Oklahoma City in the state Senate since 2010. He has three daughters with his wife of 15 years.
As a lawmaker, Shortey has been a right-wing stalwart. In 2011, he proposed a bill that would strip undocumented immigrants of property used in the commission of a crime.
“We are not saying they are less than human,” he said, according to the Tulsa World. “What we are saying is they are not Americans and have no rights thereof.”
The same year, Shortey proposed a bill requiring presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates to the election board before appearing on an Oklahoma ballot. And in January 2012, he took on the issue of aborted fetuses, hidden in our food.
“No person or entity shall manufacture or knowingly sell food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients,” the bill proposed by Shortey read.
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.
"When you incentivize illegal immigration, you incentivize a lot of bad things,” Shortey told KFOR-TV in February. “There's a trail of death from Honduras to the United States of America, and the families are giving their children and others over to coyotes and to human traffickers.”
Solicitation of a minor through technology is punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Oklahoma.