Trump's campaign and presidency have created a rather colorful cast of characters, to say the least. Amongst the far-right misfits and assorted nazi-adjacent folk is Senator Ralph Shortey, Trump's former Oklahoma campaign chair who famously attempted to pass an ultra-conservative and nonsensical law to ban human fetuses from being put into food (despite such a thing never actually occurring). Now, Senator Shortey has found himself embroiled in a scandal after reportedly being caught in a motel with a minor boy.
KOCO reports that Shortey, who is married and has three children, faces charges of soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1,000 feet of church, and transporting purpose of prostitution after police discovered the Republican lawmaker with an underage prostitute.
“On March 9 … officers of the Moore Police Department were contacted in reference to a welfare check at a local hotel,” said Lt. Kyle Dudley. “Responding officers found a juvenile male in a hotel room which was also occupied by an adult male. The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under investigation and no additional information can be released at this time.”
Although no one has come forward to admit they made the call that necessitated the welfare check, hotel employees alleged that a man identifying himself as “Ralph Allen Shortey” had checked into a room with two beds. The Oklahoman has suggested that a family member of the child had raised the issue to police after becoming concerned about the boy's whereabouts. Police are continuing to investigate the senator's text communications with the unnamed minor. One text exchange allegedly shows the minor asking for money, to which Shortey responded: “[W]ould you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”
KFor adds that when asked what he was doing at the hotel, the boy reportedly asserted that “he was just there to hang out with his friend.” The boy's parents noted that he “has a history of soliciting himself on Craigslist for sexual conduct.”
“The Oklahoma Republican Party takes all accusations against elected officials seriously, especially when the welfare of a minor is involved,” Pam Pollard of the Oklahoma Republican Party said in a statement. “We have reached out to Senator Shortey for comment and have not heard back from him at this time. We await the report from law enforcement on whether charges will be filed.”
“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," responded Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hammons."This is far too embarrassing to have him speak, vote or represent Oklahoma on any issue.”
Shortey has since been suspended from all committees and his name has been stripped from all legislation. A warrant for his arrest has been issued.
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]