WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Opening statements were given Tuesday as the bench trial of former Rhode Island state Sen. Nicholas Kettle got underway in Kent County Superior Court.
According to court documents, his girlfriend of two years told police she found nude pictures of herself on Kettle’s iPad in Jan. 2018, of which she had no prior knowledge. An affidavit obtained by Eyewitness News revealed Kettle allegedly sent the photos to a friend in New Hampshire in exchange for similar photos of the friend’s wife.
That friend, Zachary Brennan, was the first person to take the stand on Tuesday. Brennan, 27, was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony.
Kettle’s attorney, Paul DiMaio, argued that there was no expectation of privacy when the pictures were taken.
“There’s nothing sexual about these photographs other than nudity,” DiMaio said. “Nothing that by just looking at them, would give sexual gratification.”
Kettle, R-Coventry, resigned his Senate post following his indictment.
It’s been a slow morning at Kent County Court. We are expecting to find out more details about whether or not the trial will even start today around 2PM- the attorneys were given a long break to discuss. Former state senator Nick Kettle just arrived back here. pic.twitter.com/HreuBTXROe— Shiina LoSciuto (@ShiinaHL) February 5, 2019
He also pleaded not guilty to extortion charges in a separate case involving a former Senate page. Court documents showed Kettle allegedly admitted to two people that he had a sexual relationship with the page at the State House.
Kettle has denied the allegations in both cases.
The trial is scheduled to resume at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.