Senior member of Donald Trump's Oklahoma campaign team 'found in motel room with teenage boy'

Ralph Shortey, a married state senator is being investigated by police

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A senior member of Donald Trump’s Oklahoma campaign team is being investigated after he was found in a motel room with a teenage boy, police said. 

Ralph Shortey, a Republican state senator who backed the US leader during the presidential contest, is facing the prospect of prostitution charges after being discovered with a boy under the age of 18.

Police in the city of Moore said they’re still investigating the circumstances surrounding a 9 March incident involving Mr Shortey and a teenager.

But they did release a heavily redacted report that said a juvenile boy was found in a motel room with an adult male on that date. The boy’s age is unknown but the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16.

Mr Shortey, a father-of-two, endorsed Donald Trump in October 2015, just three months after the he announced his presidential candidacy.

He was later announced by the Trump campaign as part of its leadership team in Oklahoma.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said that he could not say what charges might be filed against the senator. 

But some reports have suggested that he might face prostitution charges. 

Officers are also said to be reviewing text messages exchanged between the state senator and the boy. However, he has not been arrested or formally listed as a suspect.

An employee of the Super 8 Motel to the KFOR news channel that Mr Shortey checked in shortly after midnight on 9 March and asked for a room with two beds. Police arrived at the motel around 30 minutes later. 

Mr Shortey’s official biography says he has been married to his “high school sweetheart” since 2002 and has two children.

The Oklahoma State Senate moved quickly to punish Mr Shortey when news of the motel incident broke, stripping him of committee memberships, barring him from his office and making him return his official computer. 

Democrats called on the state senator to step aside from his official duties.

“While a final resolution should await completion of the police investigation, Senator Ralph Shortey owes it to his constituents and all taxpayers to suspend himself from all official activities”, said Mark Hammons, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

“This is far too embarrassing to have him speak, vote or represent Oklahoma on any issue.”

Mr Shortey has so far declined to comment. 

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