LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson, who was under investigation for alleged sexual molestation, died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the Bullitt County Coroner.
He was pronounced dead around 8:20 p.m. on Dec. 13.
Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell says Johnson drove to the bridge over the Salt River on Greenwell Ford Road in Mt. Washington, parked on the north side of it and shot himself in front of his car.
His body was found on the bank of the river, just past the bridge.
Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Johnson posted the following message on his Facebook page:
The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news . Conservatives take a stand. I LOVE GOD and I LOVE MY WIFE, who is the best WIFE in the world,My Love Forever ! My Mom and Dad my FAMILY and all five of my kids and Nine grandchildren two in tummies and many more to come each of you or a total gift from GOD stay strong, REBECCA needs YOU . 9-11-2001 NYC/WTC, PTSD 24/7 16 years is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer. IT Has Won This Life . BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME. “PLEASE LISTEN CLOSELY, Only Three things I ask of you to do,if you love me is (1)blame no person,Satan is the accuser, so blame the Devil himself. (2) Forgive and Love everyone especially yourself .(3)most importantly LOVE GOD. P.S. I LOVE MY FRIENDS YOU ARE FAMILY ! GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT !
The coroner said police were alerted after someone saw the Facebook post. Officers then pinged Johnson's phone and found his body.
On Tuesday, Johnson held a press conference at his church on Bardstown Road, where he denied the molestation allegations. According to court documents obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the alleged molestation took place on New Year's Eve in 2012. The alleged victim, who was 17 at the time, told authorities that she was staying in a living area of the Heart of Fire City Church where Johnson was pastor, when Johnson, who had been drinking a lot, approached her, kissed her and fondled her under her clothes.
Michael Skoler, the president of Louisville Public Media, which owns the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, released a statement after Johnson's death:
"All of us at Louisville Public Media are deeply sad to hear that State Representative Dan Johnson has died, apparently of suicide. We grieve for his family, friends, church community and constituents.
Our Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting released a report on Johnson this week. Our aim, as always, is to provide the public with fact-based, unbiased reporting and hold public officials accountable for their actions.
As part of our process, we reached out to Representative Johnson numerous times over the course of a seven-month investigation. He declined requests to talk about our findings."
Johnson was never criminally charged.
Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted a statement Wednesday night, saying his "heart breaks for (Johnson's) family."
Saddened to hear of tonight’s death of KY Representative Dan Johnson...My heart breaks for his family tonight...These are heavy days in Frankfort and in America...May God indeed shed His grace on us all...We sure need it...— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) December 14, 2017
On Thursday morning, Bevin took to Twitter again to call out people making negative comments about Johnson on social media, since his death.
Would ask sincerely that all the nasty, vulgar comments & other despicable responses to the news of KY Representative Dan Johnson’s death, be kept in the minds and hearts of those who have them...Don’t share..Please have respect for his family and friends at this time...Thank you— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) December 14, 2017
Jeff Hoover, the former Kentucky Speaker of the House who resigned after sexual assault allegations, also tweeted a statement Wednesday night:
I am very sad over the passing of Rep. Dan Johnson. Over the past few weeks in some of the darkest days of my life, he reached out to me, encouraged me, and prayed for me. Prayers for his wife, children, grandchildren and all affected by this sad event.— Jeff Hoover (@KYHoover) December 14, 2017
In America, those accused of wrongdoing are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Persons posting accusations on social media as truth, and those who are self righteous and indignant over mere accusations must do better. Personal attacks don’t have to be part of politics.— Jeff Hoover (@KYHoover) December 14, 2017
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