COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — State Sen. Nicholas Kettle allegedly sent nude photos of his girlfriend to a friend in exchange for similar photos of the friend’s wife, according to a court document obtained by Eyewitness News.
The state police affidavit, filed in Kent County District Court, lays out the case for a video voyeurism charge against Kettle. He was arrested on the charge on Friday after an investigation that involved the seizure of multiple cell phones, iPads and computers.
The case is separate from two extortion charges filed against Kettle. Those stem from a secret grand jury indictment that was unsealed Monday.
In the video voyeurism affidavit, State Police Detective Robert Hopkins says Kettle’s girlfriend at the time came into the State Police barracks with Kettle’s iPad, which he had left at her house. She said she found text messages on it between Kettle and a friend, in which Kettle shared nude photos of the girlfriend.
“He sent explicit pictures of now I believe his ex-girlfriend to another subject out of state without her knowledge,” Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin said.
The photos, according to the affidavit, all showed the girlfriend looking in the other direction. She said she had no idea the photos were taken.
On Jan. 16, state police executed a search warrant at Kettle’s home and seized his iPhone.
According to the affidavit, Kettle sent the friend photos of his girlfriend while the friend sent nude photos of his wife. The two met in the Boy Scouts, according to Kettle’s girlfriend.
“Mr. Kettle stated that he needed to be ‘stealthy’ and was asking [the friend] for advice on how to take a video without [his girlfriend] knowing,” Detective Hopkins writes in the document. Hopkins also said the text messages with the nude photos had been deleted from Kettle’s iPhone, but had synced to other devices including his iPad via iCloud.
Police also executed a search warrant at Kettle’s friend’s house in New Hampshire, seizing his electronic devices.
Kettle was arraigned by a justice of the peace on one count of video voyeurism on Friday. An arraignment in Kent County District Court has not yet been scheduled.
Kettle’s attorney, Paul DiMaio, said he doesn’t believe the facts of the case amount to video voyeurism because the statute requires the photos be taken for “sexual gratification.”
“I don’t think he did that,” DiMaio said.
“We wouldn’t have charged if there wasn’t gratification,” Lt. Col. Philbin said.
In a separate case Monday, Kettle was indicted on two counts of extortion, accused of threatening and attempting to compel a Senate page to have sex with him. Both the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate have called for his resignation, and said they would support a vote to expel him from the Senate.