Police in Oklahoma are investigating why state Senator Ralph Shortey was in a Super 8 hotel Thursday night with a teenage boy. Authorities were notified about the meeting by a relative of the unnamed minor.
Shortey, who represents Oklahoma City, was part of Donald Trump’s leadership team in the state during the presidential election, and was photographed with Donald Trump Jr., just one day after the liaison allegedly took place.
He was endorsed by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arrpaio for his anti-immigration stance, and was a birther who supported requiring presidential candidates to present their birth certificates to get on the ballot.
The 35-year-old lawmaker was questioned by police, who are also reviewing his text messages to the boy, but District Attorney Greg Mashburn is awaiting a final report before deciding to file criminal charges. Depending on the investigation, Shortey could be facing charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution, prostitution within 1000 feet of a church, and transporting someone for prostitution.
The state Senate has removed Shortey’s legislative privileges, and his name has been taken off any pending bills.
— Grant Hermes News 9 (@GrantHermesKWTV) March 15, 2017
Shortey has been married to his high school sweetheart, Jenni, since 2002 and the couple has two children. A graduate of Heartland Baptist Bible College, he studied to become a missionary in Uganda but chose instead to go into oil and gas, and, ultimately, politics.
Police have issued a brief statement confirming “officers of the Moore Police Department were contacted in reference to a welfare check at a local hotel,” where they found a “juvenile male” in a hotel room with an adult male, despite the register stating two adults registered.