Oklahoma senator resigns after being charged with child prostitution
The Oklahoma lawmaker who was charged with child prostitution after being a caught in a motel room with a teenage boy resigned Wednesday from the state senate.
Ralph Shortey said he was quitting because he did not want to be a "distraction" to his colleagues in the state senate. But he did not admit to any wrongdoing in his resignation letters to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and State Sen. Mike Schulz.
"My resignation is evidence of my respect for public service and the duties of our elected officials," the 35-year-old Republican said in a statement.
Shortey was already being shunned by his peers. Even before he was charged with a crime, the Oklahoma Senate passed a resolution that suspended nearly all his privileges and scrubbed his name off any legislation he had a hand in —as well as his office door.
Ostensibly a conservative-family-values politician, Shortey was busted after police were notified that he had checked into a Super 8 Motel in Moore, Oklahoma — using his own name — around midnight on March 9 and a boy was with him.
Shortey insisted they were "just hanging out," but police discovered a graphic online exchange in which the disgraced lawmaker asked the 17-year-old if he would be "interested in sexual stuff."
The married dad is also charged with engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution/lewdness, according to the Cleveland County District Attorney's office.
A member of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Tribe, Shortey was a staunch supporter of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and part of his leadership team in Oklahoma.