The Associated Press 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.Read more HERE.
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.
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. She said she was unaware of any allegations of wrongdoing involving Shortey's work for the program, but that the agency is conducting an internal investigation due to the nature of the criminal case.
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.
Police say Shortey and the teen both told officers that they had known each other for about a year, having met through Craigslist and later communicating via the messenger application Kik, which has been criticized as being unsafe for minors.