Judge says former Kentucky prosecutor’s testimony made the case against him ‘stronger’

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

Ronnie Goldy, a former Kentucky prosecutor who resigned his position before state legislators impeached him due to allegations he had done favors for a criminal defendant in exchange for sexual favors, testified on his own behalf during his criminal trial Thursday. In his testimony, he denied ever receiving or asking for sexually explicit videos from the defendant.

Goldy, 51, is on trial this week for charges of honest services wire fraud, using interstate communication to commit bribery and federal program bribery. He was the commonwealth’s attorney for Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties before investigations into his actions began last year.

The defendant who allegedly sent the material to Goldy, Misty Helton, faced numerous court cases in Goldy’s jurisdiction between 2015 and 2020. Testimony and evidence presented in court spoke to a sexual relationship the two had, and how Helton said she felt pressured to provide Goldy with explicit photos and videos because he’d helped her resolve issues in court.

But when he took the stand on Thursday, Goldy attempted to contest those claims.

Goldy alleged Helton had reached out to him regarding videos she had of other drug trafficking in Bath County, and said she would be willing to send videos of drug deals. These videos, Goldy said, was what he continued to ask for and request when he sent messages to her such as “don’t leave me hanging,” “don’t you owe me a video,” or saying she “can’t tease and not deliver.”

Helton had previously testified that Goldy would send those messages while pressuring her to send explicit images.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Boone said one message Goldy sent which said “I do expect videos, more than one this time,” implied dishonesty by Goldy, who said he had not once received videos from Helton.

Goldy did confess that Helton sent him nude photos. In one response to the photos, he wrote, “nice,” court evidence showed. Goldy testified that he said this because he didn’t know what to say.

“How do you respond to something you didn’t ask for?” He asked.

Boone went further, reading a message in which Goldy responded to a nude photo from Helton by writing “I am sure you have something better.” Goldy said this wasn’t the “smartest response,” he could have said.

Goldy testified several times that he helped Helton because they were thought to be related somehow — which has been a big focus of the defense’s argument. The two found out they weren’t related before explicit messages were exchanged, according to court testimony.

Goldy was confronted Thursday with video recordings of a Kentucky Bar hearing in which he said under oath that he never told people Helton was related to him. But that directly conflicted with testimony from others in the trial. Every other prosecution witness — including judges and attorneys in the judicial circuit where he had jurisdiction — testified that he told them they were related.

In response to this in court Thursday, Goldy said he “couldn’t recall” telling others that, and that one judge’s testimony was “simply not accurate.”

Before his testimony, Goldy’s attorney, Michael Curtis, asked Chief District Court Judge Danny Reeves to acquit Goldy of all charges, arguing the government hadn’t proved the basis for their charges.

Reeves denied the motion. After Goldy’s testimony, Curtis again moved for a motion to acquit Goldy of his charges. Reeves denied the second motion and responded by saying that, if anything, Goldy’s testimony made the government’s case “stronger.”

Closing arguments are expected to begin Friday morning, followed by jury deliberations.