Final denial: Ky. State Rep. Dan Johnson maintained his innocence in last news conference
Johnson took his own life on Wednesday night on a bridge on Greenwell Ford Road in Mount Washington.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson was defiant to the end. In his final news conference on Tuesday, he denied allegations that he molested a 17-year-old girl five years ago.
Johnson took his own life Wednesday night on a bridge on Greenwell Ford Road in Mount Washington.
WDRB recorded the entire news conference during which 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."
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."
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."
It's not the first time Johnson had 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 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."
Johnson's wife Rebecca announced hours after he committed suicide that she wants to run for his seat in the Kentucky State House.
In a news release, Rebecca Johnson referred to her husband's death as a "high-tech lynching based on lies and half-truths."
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