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Oklahoma state senator Ralph Shortey, a “family values” Republican with a history of supporting absurd anti-abortion and anti-LGBT measures, is facing three felony charges related to child prostitution after allegedly soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy. He has since resigned, and plead not guilty on Friday.
Shortey, who is married with three children, is charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution. According to KFOR, citing the Moore Police Department report, police were called to a Super 8 motel on a welfare check, and detected a “strong odor of raw marijuana” outside the hotel room.
According to the report, police found Shortey, who claimed that no one else was in the room; after entering, police allegedly found a 17-year-old boy, who Shortey had reportedly been texting on the app Kik. From KFOR:
The affidavit claims the pair were texting back and forth using the Kick app regarding money.
The teen reportedly asked the man if he needed help with anything so he could earn money for spring break.
“I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?” the report alleges the man replied.
According to court documents cited by KFOR, the teen’s father was notified by a friend that his son had gotten into someone’s SUV; the friend reportedly followed the SUV and saw him entering the hotel room with Shortey, and the father called the police.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Shortey has crossed Jezebel’s radar: in 2012, he gained notoriety for introducing a bill that would ban adding aborted fetuses to food, if that gives you a sense of this person’s grasp on reality. Life comes at you fast, huh, Ralph? The New York Daily News also notes that Shortey was a very early Trump supporter and was later listed in an announcement on the Trump campaign’s Oklahoma “leadership team.” He recently came out in support of the Trump administration’s crackdown on sanctuary cities, claiming: “There’s a trail of death from Honduras to the United States of America, and the families are giving their children and others over to coyotes and to human traffickers.”
A special election to fill Shortey’s seat will be held this summer.