Child prostitution charges were filed on Thursday against an Oklahoma Republican state senator who was found with a teenage boy in a motel room.
During the arrest, Shortey attempted to convince police that he was just “hanging out with a friend”, but after seizing his smartphone, evidence was found of him texting children and offering them money in return for “sexual stuff”.
Cleveland County prosecutors charged 35-year-old Shortey with engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of church.
The 35-year-old republican is involved with teens on a regular basis through the YMCA Youth in government program and as a senior staffer at Boys State.
When asked why he was in that motel room, he said “he was just there to hang out with his friend.”
That friend is a teenage boy whose parents told police “has a history of soliciting himself on Craigslist for sexual conduct.”
Inside a backpack, police say they found an “open box of condoms.”
Some of the details in the report are unclear because of the redacted information, but it appears the teen told his girlfriend earlier that “he was going to get paid tonight.”
She says she watched the teen and the adult known to be Shortey enter the hotel room together.
A Kindle tablet revealed the teen had told the adult that he needed money for spring break, to which the adult, believed to be Shortey, responded, “would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”
An affidavit details several graphic exchanges between the two.
According to an affidavit, the teen told authorities that he and Shortey have known each other for about one year. He said they originally met last year through a Craigslist personal encounter ad.
The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday to suspend Shortey from all committees and strip his name from all legislation.
He can no longer occupy his office or parking spot and must return all state property in his possession.