Video voyeurism trial of former RI lawmaker gets underway

West Bay

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.

Kettle, 28, was arrested last February and pleaded not guilty the following month to 10 counts of video voyeurism.

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.

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.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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