Rhode Island GOP state senator charged with extorting sex
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A grand jury indictment unsealed Monday accuses a Republican state senator of extorting sex from a page in the Rhode Island Senate page program.
The indictment was unsealed as Senate Minority Whip Nicholas Kettle was arraigned on two counts of extortion in Providence Superior Court. Kettle, 27, of Coventry, pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 personal recognizance.
The news prompted Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio to again call for Kettle to resign immediately. He said he was “horrified and disgusted by these allegations. We in the Senate are deeply shaken.”
If Kettle refuses to step down, the Senate will pursue his expulsion, Ruggerio said. He said he also asked the Senate’s chief legal counsel to conduct an immediate review of the page program.
“We have spoken to most of the pages to ensure that they are aware of their rights in the workplace, as well as procedures for reporting anything inappropriate,” Ruggerio said.
Kettle was indicted last week, but the details of the extortion counts remained sealed over the weekend. State police separately charged him with video voyeurism Friday for allegedly sending pictures of his ex-girlfriend’s “private parts.”