A Republican state senator from Oklahoma who worked on President Donald Trump's campaign in that state has been arrested for soliciting sex from an underage boy.
"On March 9 ... officers of the Moore Police Department were contacted in reference to a welfare check at a local hotel," Lt. Kyle Dudley told The Oklahoman. "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."
State Sen. Ralph Shortey is being charged with three prostitution-related felonies: child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution, and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, according to Fox News.
Shortey, 35, has been married to a woman since 2002. The age of the boy has not been released.
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According to the police report posted on the Moore Police Department's Facebook page, Shortey told police he was in the motel room with the juvenile boy because he was "hanging out with his friend."
The Oklahoma Senate imposed sanction on Shortey that removes him from membership of Senate committees and disallows him from being able to enter his office or even his reserved parking space at the state's Capitol building.
The state senate unanimously approved the sanctions by a vote of 43-0.
But pending the criminal investigation. Shortey will still be allowed to vote and receive his $38,400 annual salary.
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"The Oklahoma Senate has full faith that the judicial system will play out appropriately and bring this matter to a lawful conclusion," said Republican state Sen. Mike Schulz, according to Fox News. "This resolution reserves the right of the Oklahoma Senate to pursue further action if more facts come to light."
Oklahoma Republican Party Chairwoman Pam Pollard released a statement that distanced the state Republican party from Shortey.
"No person, particularly a child, should be subjected to sex crimes," Pollard said. "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."
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Shortey served as Trump's campaign chairman for the Oklahoma primary.
"The best part of him is he's not owned by anybody," Shortey said of Trump, according to KFOR. "He doesn't owe anybody political favors. He's extremely independent. He genuinely does care about the future of this country."