Married Oklahoma GOP state Senator and Trump campaign chair Ralph Shortey turned himself in on Thursday and was charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution.
Shortey has three children. The maximum punishment he faces is 25 years in prison.
— Aaron Brilbeck (@AaronBrilbeck9) March 16, 2017
Shortey was found in a Super 8 motel room with a 16-year-old boy on March 9. It was later revealed that Shortey had offered the boy cash for “sexual stuff”.
The evidence against Shortey includes a graphic online conversation where the two discuss having sex and smoking marijuana, police reported in a court affidavit. The conversation was found on the teenager’s Kindle tablet.
Shortey, using the online name “Jamie Tilley,” at one point during the discussion about sex called the teenager “baby boy,” according to the affidavit.
Police found condoms and lotion in the teen’s backpack and said the two had been communicating for about a year.
The Oklahoma Senate voted 42-0 to pass a resolution to punish Shortey for disorderly behavior.
The Oklahoma Republican Party also released a statement:
“The Oklahoma Republican Party takes all accusations against elected officials seriously, especially when the welfare of a minor is involved. 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.”
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin called on Shortey to resign on Thursday, as did Lt. Gov. Lamb.
Said Fallin in a statement released by her office:
“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.”
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