Former Kentucky prosecutor indicted on federal bribery, fraud charges
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky prosecutor was indicted for allegedly trading court favors in exchange for a defendant’s nude images, federal prosecutors said Friday in a matter that led to his impeachment by state lawmakers.
Ronnie Goldy Jr. was indicted on bribery and wire fraud charges, the prosecutors said.
The charges allege that Goldy solicited and accepted sexual favors and the explicit images from the criminal defendant, prosecutors said. In return, Goldy made decisions in cases that benefited the defendant and pressured other officials to do the same, they said. At the time, Goldy was commonwealth’s attorney for Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties in northeastern Kentucky.
The FBI arrested him Friday in Morehead, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) northeast of Lexington.
An attorney who has represented Goldy did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.
The indictment listed examples of actions that Goldy allegedly agreed to perform for the defendant — who had been charged with multiple crimes in Goldy’s jurisdiction but wasn’t identified in the federal indictment. He sought her release from incarceration, asked for the withdrawal of arrest warrants, requested the postponement of a court hearing and asked another prosecutor to sign an order directing the release of the defendant’s impounded property, prosecutors said.
A former boyfriend of the defendant took screenshots of Facebook messages between the two and provided them to a Louisville attorney, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The Courier Journal reported in July 2022 on the exchange of messages in which Goldy allegedly promised to help her with her criminal cases in exchange for nude photos and videos of herself.
Goldy, 51, was charged 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, the indictment unsealed Friday showed. Goldy was being held in the Woodford County Detention Center in central Kentucky. His initial court appearance was set for Monday.
Earlier this year, Goldy was punished by Kentucky lawmakers. The state House voted to impeach Goldy, and he was convicted on the articles of impeachment by the Senate in its first impeachment trial in more than a century. The action barred him from holding a future elected office in the state.