UPDATE: Rep. Dan Johnson refuses to resign, calling molestation allegations false
Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson addressed allegations that he molested a 17-year-old girl Tuesday morning, saying that a report that he did so had "absolutely no merit."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson addressed allegations that he molested a 17-year-old girl Tuesday morning, saying that a report that he did so had "absolutely no merit."
He also declined to resign, despite calls from Democratic and Republican leadership that he do so.
"This is something that is totally false," he said. "There’s no reason why I would resign."
The comments came during a news conference at the Heart of Fire City Church Tuesday morning.
"I know that today in this climate that we live in in America with politics…it seems as though everyone gets accusations," he said.
He said he has been investigated from the time he won the election.
"The fact of the matter is we live in a country that has elections and the people vote people in," he said. "It’s not based on being a lawyer or a doctor or any certain profession."
"It's really sad that we end up with stories and investigations that are going on from all kinds of funding that are very partisan," he said.
"There’s no perfect people," he added, saying of his own life that, "there’s things that aren’t perfect – and that’s a fact."
Court documents posted by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting say the alleged molestation took place at the Heart of Fire City Church where Johnson was a pastor on New Year's Eve in 2012. Johnson's accuser told authorities that she was staying in a living area of the Heart of Fire City Church when Johnson kissed her and fondled her under her clothes. She says he had been drinking.
According to the same court documents, the case was eventually closed, due to the alleged victim's refusal to cooperate as she was "very busy" during her senior year of high school and "just didn't have time."
On Tuesday morning, Johnson told reporters everything about the allegation was false, saying he was never in the teen's room that night and calling her claims "unfounded."
"None of that ever happened," he said. "That’s why I can stand up today and say that this is totally wrong."
"Anybody that has gotten wobbly in how they’re standing with me in the political ranks -- they need to toughen up a little bit," he added.
It's not the first time Johnson has been the center of controversy.
Last year, Johnson was elected to the state House of Representatives seat in the 49th District, beating out incumbent Linda Belcher. He made headlines during the campaign, when WDRB News confronted him about a number of images posted or shared on his Facebook page, that many considered to be racist.
Those images included a photo of a chimpanzee -- labeled as a baby picture of then-President Barack Obama -- and another image with ape-like features photo-shopped onto pictures of the Obama family.
Johnson called the Facebook posts "entertainment."
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