Another Republican government official has become entangled in a sex scandal. This time, it’s 27-year-old Republican Rhode Island state senator Nicholas Kettle. Kettle was indicted for extorting an underage male page for sex last week. According to Senate spokesman Greg Pare, the Senate page program includes 67 pages ranging in age from 15 to college age. They are all hired at the recommendation of senators. Pare says the page in question didn’t file a complaint against Kettle while he was part of the program.
On Monday, an unsealed grand jury indictment revealed the accusations against the Senator. Kettle allegedly extorted the page for sex on multiple occasions. As the Associated Press reports, the senator pleaded not guilty and was released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. In the wake of the news, Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio has called for Kettle’s immediate resignation. “We in the Senate are deeply shaken,” said Ruggerio. He also said the Senate will push for his expulsion should Kettle not step down on his own.
According to the indictment, which doesn’t name the page, Kettle extorted the young man twice in 2011. A spokesperson for the victim said in a statement on Monday night that her client “spent the last seven years coming to terms with what was done to him” and is “moving on.” She also said the page left his career in politics and has since become an executive in the Tennessee music industry. However, Rhode Island election records show the page ran against his alleged extorter as an independent in 2014.
Meanwhile, on Friday, State police filed a separate charge against Kettle for video voyeurism on Friday. According to a affidavit on the charge, Kettle allegedly sent nude photos of his then-girlfriend to friend Zachary Brennan in New Hampshire, unbeknownst to her. Brennan is said to have returned the favor with pictures of his wife. Police also say the two buds exchanged shots of their own genitals and plotted how they might record their respective partners during sex. When police searched his home last month, Brennan admitted to exchanging the photos.