Ralph Shortey is married and the father of four daughters.
Daily News reports:
An Oklahoma legislator charged with hiring a 17-year-old boy for sex resigned on Wednesday, saying he didn’t want to be a distraction to his fellow lawmakers.
Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey was arrested last week on charges of engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of church. The 35-year-old married father submitted a resignation letter to the Senate and GOP Gov. Mary Fallin that said he would step down immediately.
“I appreciate the service the men and women of the Oklahoma Senate provide, and I recognize the need for the business of the Senate to proceed without distraction for the remainder of the legislative session,” Shortey said in the letter.
Oklahoma’s most prominent Republican leaders had called for his resignation after he was charged.
Acting on a tip from the teenager’s father, police in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore say they went to a Super 8 Hotel earlier this month and smelled marijuana coming from a room. They say they found Shortey and the boy.
The allegations led to Shortey’s removal from his volunteer position with the Oklahoma City YMCA’s Youth and Government program, in which he has been active for 17 years and served as a chaperone on several out-of-state trips, YMCA spokeswoman Brenda Bennett said.
A police report shows a search of the teen’s tablet uncovered a series of sexually explicit exchanges in which Shortey referred to the teen as “baby boy” and offered him cash in exchange for “sexual stuff.” The conversation had started with the teen messaging Shortey that he needed “money for spring break,” police wrote. Officers also found lotion and an open box of condoms inside backpacks in the room.