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Attorney: Accuser in Kettle extortion case was not vetted properly

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The attorney of former state Sen. Nicholas Kettle believes the case against his client was mishandled because the man who accused him of extorting sex and blackmail is related to a state trooper.

The extortion charges against Kettle was dropped this week after the new evidence was filed in the case, including Facebook messages between him and his accuser spanning three years that showed a friendship, according to DiMaio.

“The tone [of the messages] is completely opposite of what he was testifying to,” DiMaio added.

Kettle was charged with two counts of extortion and blackmail after he was accused of extorting sex from a male page at the Rhode Island State House.

DiMaio said then-Attorney General Peter Kilmartin didn’t properly examine the case, which changed in January after the current attorney general, Peter Neronha, took over and gave the case a fresh look.

According to DiMaio, the case was further mishandled because the male page is related to a state trooper.

“They dropped their guard in this case,” DiMaio said Friday. “He never would have been indicted if they had bothered to really consider the possibility that this kid was not telling the truth.”

The R.I. State Police would not comment on DiMaio’s statements nor would they confirm the accuser is related to a state trooper. DiMaio said Kettle and his family were emotional when they learned the case was dropped.

“They cried. His mother cried,” DiMaio said. “How would you feel if this serious cloud was off your head?”

In a separate case, Kettle pleaded no contest to two counts of video voyeurism and was sentenced to three years of probation.

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