GOP State Senator Accused Of Extorting Senate Page For Sexual Favors


Senate Minority Whip Nicholas Kettle is charged with two counts of extortion.

A Republican state senator in Rhode Island stands accused of extorting sex from member of the Senate's page program, unsealed documents revealed Monday.

The indictment was unsealed as Senate Minority Whip Nicholas Kettle was arraigned on two counts of extortion in Providence Superior Court. Kettle, of Coventry, is accused of extorting a male page for sex multiple times. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 personal recognizance.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio called for Kettle to resign immediately, saying he was "horrified and disgusted" by the allegations.

"We in the Senate are deeply shaken," he said.

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.

Details of the 27-year-old Republican's indictment were sealed through the weekend, but the charges were filed last week.

The indictment says Kettle extorted the page into sex on two occasions in 2011. The indictment names the page, but The Associated Press does not identify people who may be victims of sex crimes unless they come forward and agree to have their names published. The page's LinkedIn profile says he served as a page from February 2011 to May 2012.