The Kentucky Supreme Court has suspended a Kentucky prosecutor who promised to help a defendant in exchange for nude photos.
Ronnie Goldy, the commonwealth's attorney for Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties, was temporarily suspended by the court in a Friday order. However, Goldy can only be removed by the General Assembly through impeachment, the Courier Journal reported.
Goldy Allegedly Withdrew Warrants in Exchange for Explicit Images, Sex
According to the report, Goldy that Goldy exchanged 230 pages of Facebook messages with a female defendant, identified as Misty Helton. Goldy testified at a Sept. 8 hearing that he didn't remember sending the messages but did not deny having done so.
The woman has testified that in exchange for nude photos and videos Goldy withdrew warrants and had cases continued. She also said that she had sex with the prosecutor. The messages appeared to show Goldy telling Helton if she sent him the images, he would talk to judges about continuing her cases and setting aside warrants.
They also showed Goldy told her he had delivered on some of those promises. "Got your Rowan county stuff done. You are completely free of that," Goldy wrote in one of the texts. "Still working on Clark County. They are a pain."
In June 2018, another instance, showed Goldy messaging Helton, "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."
'Abuse of Power'
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 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.
In addition to the suspension, Goldy also faces possible disbarment. A petition to temporarily ban him from practice filed July 14 said he "abused the trust of the public and brought the legal system into disrepute."