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Oklahoma legislators are calling on a member of the state Senate to resign after he was charged with engaging in child prostitution.
State Sen. Ralph Shortey (R) turned himself in to police in Moore, Okla., on Thursday after the Cleveland County district attorney filed three felony charges against the lawmaker. The charges include engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution close to a church and transporting a minor for prostitution.
The charges come a week after Moore police found Shortey and a teenage boy at a Super 8 Motel. Police said they smelled marijuana, and an affidavit filed in court described text messages between the teenager and Shortey in which they discussed exchanging money for sexual favors.
The teenager told police he and Shortey, 35, had met a year ago through a Craigslist advertisement.
The state Senate on Wednesday suspended Shortey from his legislative duties, stripping him of committee assignments and scrubbing his name from pending legislation. The vote passed unanimously.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Friday said Shortey should resign his seat.
“The charges against him do not reflect the character and decorum that we expect of an elected official. It is not acceptable,” Fallin said in a statement emailed to The Hill. “In the meantime, there’s a criminal justice system in place to review the allegations. We should respect the process and allow it to work as designed.”
Shortey was first elected to the state Senate in 2010. He has not made any public statements since turning himself in on Thursday.