KY prosecutor suspended for seeking nude images of woman


A Kentucky prosecutor has been suspended after a hearing officer concluded he asked a woman for explicit photos and videos after helping her in court.

Ronnie Lee Goldy Jr., the commonwealth’s attorney for Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties, was temporarily suspended from practicing law by the Kentucky Supreme Court, according to an order issued Friday.

The state Supreme Court issued the suspension based on findings from hearing officer Jean Chenault Logue, a former circuit judge who heard testimony on the allegations that Goldy had abused his office.

Louge said the evidence showed there was probable cause to believe Goldy’s professional misconduct represented a substantial threat of harm to the public.

Logue heard testimony after a panel of the Kentucky Bar Association asked the Supreme Court to suspend Goldy.

The case arose after a former boyfriend of Misty Helton, a woman with a lengthy criminal record, took screen shots of more than 200 Facebook messages between her and Goldy from her phone and turned them over Thomas R. Clay, a Louisville attorney.

Clay represented Beth Maze, a former circuit judge, in a criminal case. Goldy was a potential witness in the case.

The messages included several instances in which Goldy said he had done something to help Helton with a criminal case, such as having court dates changed or warrants recalled, then asked her for photos or videos, and at least two in which she sent him nude photos.

In June 2018, for instance, Goldy messaged Helton saying “When do I get to see a video.” Helton responded “When am I not gonna have a warrant hahaha,” according to Logue’s findings.

Goldy messaged back “Lol. Good point. Incentives never hurt.”

Helton testified that she met Goldy in 2015 when she was an inmate in the Rowan County Detention Center, and communicated with him by Facebook, text or phone from 2015 until earlier this year when she was arrested.

Goldy has been the commonwealth’s attorney for the 21st Circuit since 2013.

Helton testified that “she believed he always felt like she was in debt to him with sexual favors. He requested nude photographs, nude videos and sexual favors on many occasions, and she complied on several occasions,” Logue said in her findings.

On one occasion Helton said Goldy sent her $25 for gas, and she sent him a message thanking him.

“Mr. Goldy responded ‘Now your turn. Lol.’ Followed by ‘Don’t leave me hanging,’” the document states.

According to the findings, Goldy acknowledged that he and Helton had communicated with each other through Facebook Messenger but said “he did not recall sending the messages.”

Goldy testified he did not ask Helton for explicit photos and didn’t receive any, but later said during the same hearing he had received nude photos, according to the findings.

Logue concluded that Goldy did solicit nude photos from Helton.

The evidence established probable cause to believe Goldy “abused his power by using his official position as Commonwealth Attorney to provide Ms. Helton with assistance in criminal matters for her benefit while he expected and requested actions of a sexual nature” from her, said the findings, which were adopted by the court.

The Supreme Court ordered Goldy to notify all clients that he can’t handle cases. Goldy can only be removed from office by impeachment.

A judge dismissed the criminal charges against Maze in which the allegations against Goldy surfaced.

Ronnie Goldy
Ronnie Goldy is the commonwealth’s attorney for the 21st Circuit if Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties. Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Association

This story was originally published September 16, 2022 9:39 PM.

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