PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Former state Sen. Nicholas Kettle allegedly admitted to two acquaintances that he engaged in sexual activity with a Senate page at the State House, according to newly filed court documents that contain more details about the case against the lawmaker.
Kettle, 27, of Coventry, pleaded not guilty last month to two counts of extortion. The indictment alleges Kettle in 2011 threatened and attempted to compel the page to commit a sexual act. Facing expulsion from the Senate following his indictment, Kettle resigned his seat last month.
The hundreds of pages of documents filed this week by prosecutors in Superior Court include graphic text messages Kettle exchanged with a longtime friend who now lives in New Hampshire. In one text, Kettle seeks advice on how to surreptitiously record sexually explicit footage of his then-girlfriend.
In one exchange, the New Hampshire man texts Kettle, “make sure you delete these messages lol don’t want any wandering eyes seeing this stuff.”
Kettle writes back, “yes all set.”
Documents show the Republican lawmaker confided in at least two people after he was contacted by investigators, including Laura Flanagan, who served as his campaign treasurer.
Flanagan went to state police because she was alarmed about how Kettle had described his relationship with a Senate page, according to the documents. She told police that Kettle said his sexual relationship with the page was consensual, and had started when the two were younger.
Flanagan said Kettle told her, “I think I was 16 or 17.” She continued, “I’m like, ‘so you, you realize if you were 16 or 17, this young man was 12 or 13?’ And he’s like – he kind of paused. I said, ‘you – you understand, like, how much trouble you’re in, like, this isn’t – this is no joke.'”
Flanagan said Kettle later indicated the page was older than he had said at first and told her, “I didn’t rape him, Laura.” She said Kettle told her the relationship ended when the page left the program.
Kettle also confided in Joel Johnson, who was active in the Coventry Republican Town Committee. Johnson said he interrogated Kettle about whether the lawmaker had ever had a sexual relationship with individuals from his Karate class or Boy Scouts. He said Kettle indicated he had a consensual relationship with another Scout, saying they were both “of age.”
Kettle was charged with 10 counts of video voyeurism and two counts of extortion, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
In the voyeurism case, the New Hampshire man admits he sent sexually explicit pictures of his wife to Kettle. Detectives write that the woman is “legally blind,” but the New Hampshire man claimed his wife knew he was sharing the images. His wife also told police she was aware the photos were being disseminated, according to the documents.
The New Hampshire man has not been charged.
Kettle was first elected to the state Senate in 2010 at the age of 20, and was re-elected three times thereafter.