FEDERAL INDICTMENT STEMS FROM THE EXCHANGE OF SEXUAL FAVORS AND NUDE PHOTOS FROM WOMAN FOR FAVORABLE DECISIONS IN HER CRIMINAL CASES; AFTER HIS RESIGNATION, FORMER OFFICIAL WAS IMPEACHED AND SUCCESSFULLY CONVICTED BY KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE
AUGUST 20, 2023 – written by WADE QUEEN
THE FACE OF RONNIE GOLDY JR., 51, OF MOREHEAD, KY., WHO WAS ARRESTED BY THE FBI AFTER HE WAS FEDERALLY INDICTED FOR EXCHANGING FAVORS IN HIS POSITION AS A PROSECUTOR FOR SEX WITH A FEMALE DEFENDANT.
The former Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney for Bath County, Menifee County, Montgomery County, and Rowan County, was arrested on Friday morning, August 18, by the FBI.
Ronnie Goldy Jr., 51, of Morehead, KY., was arrested at his home after he was named in a federal indictment on Thursday, August 17, by a federal grand jury in Lexington, KY., on fraud and public corruption charges.
The indictment charged the former prosecutor with *six counts of: honest services wire fraud, *six counts of using an interstate communication to commit bribery, and *two counts of: federal program bribery.
According to the federal indictment, Ronnie Goldy exploited his position from November 2017 to November 2020, by making illicit agreements with a female criminal defendant. In exchange for sexual favors and sexually explicit nude images from the defendant, Ronnie Goldy allegedly made favorable decisions in criminal cases and pressured other officials to do the same.
The indictment lists examples of actions Ronnie Goldy agreed to perform for this defendant. Those include efforts to facilitate the defendant’s release from jail; withdrawal of arrest warrants; postponement of court hearings; and requesting another prosecutor to sign an order directing the release of the defendant’s impounded property.
Ronnie Goldy Jr. is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in Lexington on Monday, August 21, at 4:00 P.M.
If convicted on all counts, Ronnie Goldy faces significant prison time. For the six counts of honest services wire fraud, Goldy faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. The six counts of electronic communication bribery could lead to a maximum of 5 years in prison. For the two counts of federal program bribery, Goldy faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Ronnie Goldy resigned from his position in early February 2023, in an attempt to avoid action taken against him by the Kentucky legislature, however, he was subsequently impeached by the Kentucky House of Representatives and was then successfully convicted in a unanimous vote by the Kentucky State Senate in March; becoming the first Kentucky state official to be removed by the Kentucky legislature since 1887.
Ronnie Goldy is being incarcerated in the Woodford County Detention Center in Versailles, KY., where he is currently held on no bond allowed.
The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a ruling in mid-June that dissolved an order that temporarily suspended Ronnie Goldy Jr., from practicing law, saying he no longer posed a threat to the public given that he was impeached and removed from office. But the Kentucky Supreme Court warned that he still could face discipline on the underlying charges that he traded favors with defendant Misty Helton in court in exchange for receiving nude photos and videos of her.
With the Kentucky Supreme Court ruling, Ronnie Goldy was eligible to restart practicing law though that could change when his underlying case is adjudicated.
The temporary suspension was based on a finding there was probable cause that he violated a rule barring lawyers from talking to a client represented by other counsel.
Ronnie Goldy was impeached by the Senate in March as commonwealth’s attorney for the 21st Judicial Circuit; therefore, he can no longer hold public office.
Ruling 5-2, the court found there was no evidence he posed a threat to private clients and dissolved his temporary suspension.
Chief Justice VanMeter and Justice Angela McCormick Bisig dissented but did not file opinions.