Photo courtesy of ©WPRO | Senator Nicholas Kettle faces charges of extortion and video voyeurism.
On Monday Feb. 19, the Rhode Island Superior Court unsealed a criminal indictment of 27-year-old Republican State Senator Nicholas Kettle.
Kettle has pled not guilty to two counts of extortion and one count of video voyeurism.
According to a report done by the Rhode Island Public Radio, Kettle allegedly shared nude pictures of his girlfriend without her consent.
An attorney representing Kettle, J.A Dixon-Acosta says “we believe this is a political witch-hunt spearheaded by one of Kettle’s former political rivals.”
Kettle also allegedly extorted sexual favors from a Senate page. According to Senate spokesman Greg Pare, the Senate page program is made up of high school and college-aged paid interns who assist Senate lawmakers in day-to-day activities.
Kettle allegedly extorted a male Senate page to have sex twice, when the page was from 16 to 17.
A spokesperson for the page said he “spent the last seven years coming to terms with what was done to him.”
In response to these new allegations and the indictment, some of Kettle’s Senate colleagues have encouraged him to resign.
Both Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere have also called for Kettle’s resignation. On Feb. 21, bipartisan legislation to expel Kettle was filed. The legislation will be looked at by the Senate Judiciary Committee when Senate resumes on Tuesday, Feb. 27.
“As President of the Senate, as a father, and as a grandfather, I am absolutely horrified and disgusted by these allegations. We, in the Senate, are deeply shaken,” Ruggiero said. He has also called for a full and thorough review of the Senate page program.
News of Senator Kettle’s alleged misconduct follows recent allegations of sexual misconduct by members of Congress and influential members of the corporate and entertainment world.
Kettle was elected to the State Senate District 21 at 19, while he was enrolled at Rhode Island College. Kettle defeated the Republican incumbent, Leo Blais, by 23 votes in 2010.