We have yet another government sex scandal. This one has to do with Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey. Shortey is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and even served as the chair for the Trump campaign. He has represented Oklahoma City since 2010. But, as happens too often these days, he’s got a few secrets.
It started March 9 when an unnamed teen began messaging Shortey on social media. According to the police report, the two had been texting for over a year. At one point, the boy told the senator he needed some money for spring break. According the messaging found in the teen’s Kindle, confiscated from the room, he had asked if Shortey had any work he could do.
“Is there anything I can help you do for some cash?” asked the teen.
After a little back and forth, the Senator finally answered, “I don’t have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in some ‘sexual’ stuff?”
The conversation cut off from there. The next message was the Senator stating, “I’m here.”
Later that night, the boy’s girlfriend contacted his parents questioning his whereabouts, News Ok reported. The girlfriend told the father she had witnessed the teen get into a white Jeep Grand Cherokee with a man and she had followed them to a Super 8 in Moore Oklahoma.
The teen was supposed to get a paycheck that night, and since he had a history of drug use, she was worried the encounter was related. This eventually led to his father calling the police. Staff at the motel confirmed that a Ralph Shortey checked in around midnight, March 8, with an underage male in tow.
Half an hour later the police arrived, and noted that the smell of marijuana was coming from the room. Shortey wouldn’t open the door, assuring the officers it was just him inside. Finally the cops threatened to open it with the hotel master key. Then the boy opened the door, the Senator was hiding behind the door.
They did not find marijuana in the room but they did find a bottle of lotion and an open box of condoms. The police confirmed that the teen was a troubled youth, involved in drug abuse, and had been advertising sexual services on Craigslist.
Shortey has been charged with three felonies—engaging in child prostitution, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for purposes of prostitution.
The Oklahoma State Senate has expressed disgust at having such a person represent the state of Oklahoma, citing his “disorderly behavior.”
“While a final resolution should await completion of the police investigation, Sen. Ralph Shortey owes it to his constituents and all taxpayers to suspend himself from all official activities. This is far too embarrassing to have him speak, vote or represent Oklahoma on any issue,” Oklahoma Democratic Party Executive Director Sarah Baker told KOCO 5 News.
Originally, the Oklahoma Senate stripped him of all privileges, including a government issued computer. They planned to suspend him until the investigation was complete. But the proceedings moved faster than they expected. According to the Tulsa World, at noon on Thursday the charges were officially filed, and the Senate called for his resignation.
“In light of the criminal charges filed against you today, I respectfully request on behalf of the Oklahoma State Senate your immediate resignation as senator of District 44,” Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz ’s one sentence letter to Shortey read.
Shortey was arrested and taken to the Cleveland County Jail. He posted bond at $100,000.
The 35-year-old Senator was a 2000 graduate of West Moore High School and attended Heartland Bible College in Oklahoma City. He was preparing for a lifestyle of missionary work in Uganda. He married Jenni, his high school sweetheart in 2002, and they have two children—Kaitlyn and Elena. He switched from mission work to working as a production consultant in the oil and gas industry. As a long-term political activist and volunteer, in 2010, he decided to run for state Senate, where he has been ever since.
In the Oklahoma State Senate he is known for his outspoken conservative stance, including whole-hearted support for Trump’s immigration policies. He told the Tulsa World, “We are not saying they are less than human. What we are saying is they are not Americans and have no rights thereof.”
He was also a key sponsor in a bill against aborted fetuses possibly being used in food and beverages.
“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.
Now the good ‘ol Southern boy from the Bible belt has been corrupted by power. And apparently all it took was a $38,000 a year government job.