While the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16, the state’s prostitution statute applies to any person under the age of 18.
A tip from the teen’s father led officers in Moore to a Super 8 last week. They smelled marijuana coming from one of the rooms and discovered Shortey and the teenager inside, along with a backpack containing a box of condoms and lotion.
Police additionally uncovered a slew of sexually explicit messages between Shortey and the boy, including one in which the 35-year-old Republican offered him money in exchange for “sexual stuff,” according to a police report cited by the newspaper.
The Oklahoma Senate imposed sanctions Wednesday on Shortey, voting 43-0 for a resolution that accuses him of “disorderly behavior.” Among other things, it removes Shortey from membership and leadership of various Senate committees, bars him from occupying his office and reserved parking spot at the Capitol, blocks his expense allowances and authorship of bills, and revokes his right to have an executive assistant.
It also blocks him from penning new bills.
“No person, particularly a child, should be subjected to sex crimes,” said Pam Pollard, chair of the Oklahoma Republican party. “While we believe in the right to a fair trial and that all people deserve their day in court, the accusations against Ralph Shortey are in no way in line with the principles of the Oklahoma Republican Party.”
Senate officials told Fox News Shortey would still be allowed to vote and that he will continue to receive his $38,400 annual salary as a senator.
The conservative Republican from south Oklahoma City, Shortey is married with three young children.
On Thursday, Shortey surrendered to authorities on charges of engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of church. His bond was set at $100,000.