Child prostitution charges filed against Oklahoma state senator

State Senator Ralph Shortey turns himself in March 16 to the Cleveland County Detention Center. (KOKH)

NORMAN, Okla. (KOKH) — Officials in Cleveland County have filed charges against Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey after he was found in a hotel room with an underage boy.

The state filed three charges against Shortey, including Engaging in Child Prostitution, Engaging in Prostitution within 1000 feet of a church and Transporting a Minor for Prostitution/Lewdness. All three charges are felonies.

According to court records, On March 9, Moore police made contact with Shortey at the Super 8 Hotel on N. I-35 Service Road. Shortey was inside the hotel room alone with a 17-year-old male.

Officers smelled a strong odor of marijuana in the room and found a container with a small amount of the drug inside. Police also found an open box of condoms and a bottle of lotion in Shortey's backpack inside the room.

Court documents show officers learned of a conversation between Shortey and the juvenile on the messaging app "Kik". Police determined Shortey used the alias "Jamie Tilley" and the username "Brinokc4u" during the conversation.

Police say the juvenile told Shortey he needed money for spring break. Shortey replied he didn't have any things he needed help with at the moment, then asked "would you be interested in 'sexual' stuff?" The juvenile responded yes and the two continued discussing how and where they'd meet.

According to messages obtained by police, Shortey picked the juvenile at approximately 12:13 a.m. Police say witnesses observed the juvenile enter a white Jeep Cherokee. The same witnessed followed the Cherokee to the Circle K convenience store on SE 4th St. and then to the Super 8 Hotel.

The juvenile informed police he knew Shorty for around a year, and the pair met through a Craigslist personal encounter ad.

The Oklahoma Senate also voted 43-0 Wednesday to suspend Shortey for 'disorderly behavior'. As part of the suspension, Shortey is removed from his assigned committees, his name is removed from bills and he is ordered to return custody of his state-owned laptop. He is also no longer allowed to occupy his office at the State Capitol and cannot sponsor any Senate Pages. All pages under his sponsorship have been transferred to the President Pro Tempore. Shortey will still be allowed to vote and will still be paid during the investigation.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said that Shortey has failed to achieve a minimum standard and has "rightfully lost his senate privileges".

"In light of the charges filed against him, Ralph Shortey should resign from his seat so the good people of southwest Oklahoma City can move forward with electing a new state Senator," Lamb said in a statement.

A court date has yet to be set.

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