MOORE, Okla. — Sen. Ralph Shortey was charged with three felonies by Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn and has been given until noon today to turn himself in to authorities.
Shortey was charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in child prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting a minor for purpose of prostitution.
The charges follow an investigation by the Moore Police Department into Shortey’s actions the night of March 9. According to a Moore police report, officers were alerted by a juvenile’s father that his teenage son had entered into a Moore motel room with an adult, later identified as Shortey. According to the father, his son had been soliciting individuals on Craigslist and had a history of drug use.
Police approached the motel room, and smelled marijuana coming from the room. They knocked on the door, according to the report, and made contact with Shortey, eventually opening the door with a master key. Police observed backpacks with condoms and lotion in them, and found a Kindle Fire with a text conversation between Shortey and the juvenile that detailed Shortey allegedly promising to pay the juvenile for sex. No one was arrested that night.
Moore police turned their investigation over to the Cleveland County DA’s Office Wednesday. Shortey’s Senate colleagues also voted to sanction him yesterday, stripping him of most of his legislative authority, including his office, legislative assistant, state computer, and parking space. Shortey can still vote and draw a paycheck. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb has called for Shortey’s resignation.
McGuire writes for Norman Transcript, a CNHI News Service publication.