Rhode Island GOP senator charged with video voyeurism, extortion

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island state senator under investigation by state police since January was arrested today on charges of video voyeurism and extortion.

Republican Sen. Nicholas Kettle faces one count of video voyeurism brought by state police for sending pictures of his ex-girlfriend's "private parts," Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin said. He also was indicted on two counts of extortion, but Philbin said he could not comment on those counts.

Kettle was being held in jail over the weekend and is to appear in court Monday, he said.

Kettle's lawyer, Paul DiMaio, called the video voyeurism charge "nonsense" and said he has no idea what the extortion charges are about. He also blasted state police for their tactics, saying they deliberately took Kettle into custody at his workplace on this afternoon, which meant he likely would be held over the weekend.

"All they had to do was call us, we would have been in there," he said.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio issued a written statement calling for Kettle's immediate resignation.

"It is deeply troubling that a member of the Senate has been indicted on charges of video voyeurism and extortion. Based on what we know at this time, I believe that Mr. Kettle should resign immediately. I will reserve further comment until the indictment is unsealed and we have additional information," he said.

Kettle, 27, serves as the Senate minority whip in the tiny Republican caucus. He represents parts of Coventry, Foster, Scituate and West Greenwich.

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