Oklahoma lawmaker arrested on child prostitution charges

Posted March 17, 2017

Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey has turned himself in after being charged with engaging in child prostitution Thursday.

Cleveland County prosecutors charged 35-year-old Shortey with engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of church.

When police went to check on the juvenile at a Super 8 in Moore last Thursday, officers said they smelled a "strong odor of raw marijuana" coming from Room 120. When the police arrived at the motel room, Shortey initially told them he was alone.

Oklahoma's age of consent is 16.

Court records say police encountered Shortey and the boy smoking marijuana in a room.

During the conversation, the 17-year-old boy told Shortey he needed money for spring break. The boy apparently told his girlfriend earlier that "he was going to get paid tonight". The cop says at first Shortey attempted to say he was the only one in the room, but when he finally opened the door, the juvenile exited the room.

The allegations led to Shortey's removal from his volunteer position with the Oklahoma City YMCA's Youth and Government program, in which he has been active for 17 years and served as a chaperone on several out-of-state trips, YMCA spokeswoman Brenda Bennett said. Ralph Shortey and a teenager. When the police asked Shortey what he was doing at the motel room, he replied he was there to hang out with a friend.

But Shortey will still receive his $38,400 salary and be allowed to vote.

Bennett watched her grandchildren play Thursday at Southern Oaks Park in Shortey's district.

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, a Republican from Altus, Oklahoma, came up with the resolution and sanctions. Schultz said in a statement after the resolution was passed that it was not a presumption of guilt or innocence.

The state Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday (3/15) to strip Shortey of most of his Senate privileges. The newspaper reported that before Senator Shortey began his career in politics, he "attended Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City in preparation for mission work in Uganda".