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Oklahoma Pol Hit With Child Prostitution Charges Quits State Senate

The Oklahoma lawmaker who was charged with child prostitution after being a caught in a motel room with a teenage boy resigned Wednesday from the state senate.

Ralph Shortey said he was quitting because he did not want to be a "distraction" to his colleagues in the state senate. But he did not admit to any wrongdoing in his resignation letters to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and State Sen. Mike Schulz.

Image: Ralph Shortey
Former Oklahoma state Senator Ralph Shortey. Sue Ogrocki / AP

"My resignation is evidence of my respect for public service and the duties of our elected officials," the 35-year-old Republican said in a statement.

Shortey was already being shunned by his peers. Even before he was charged with a crime, the Oklahoma Senate passed a resolution that suspended nearly all his privileges and scrubbed his name off any legislation he had a hand in —as well as his office door.

Ostensibly a conservative-family-values politician, Shortey was busted after police were notified that he had checked into a Super 8 Motel in Moore, Oklahoma — using his own name — around midnight on March 9 and a boy was with him.

Shortey insisted they were "just hanging out," but police discovered a graphic online exchange in which the disgraced lawmaker asked the 17-year-old if he would be "interested in sexual stuff."

The married dad is also charged with engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution/lewdness, according to the Cleveland County District Attorney's office.

A member of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Tribe, Shortey was a staunch supporter of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and part of his leadership team in Oklahoma.