This is just awful. Even of the allegations against this man were true, it is shocking and sad that he would take his own life just before Christmas.
NBC News reports:
Kentucky lawmaker accused of sexual assault dies in apparent suicide
A Kentucky state representative who had denied allegations of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 2013 died Wednesday in a probable suicide, the county coroner said.
Dan Johnson, 57, died of a single gunshot wound in Mount Washington, and authorities found him after he made a post on social media sometime before 6:20 p.m., Bullitt County Coroner Dave Billings said.
“Saddened to hear of tonight’s death of KY Representative Dan Johnson,” Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin posted on Twitter. “My heart breaks for his family tonight.”
Billings said he was called to the scene at 7:26 p.m. The Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published a story this week quoting a woman named Maranda Richmond as saying Johnson had drunkenly sexually assaulted her in his basement on the night of New Year’s Eve 2012. At the time, the woman was a 17-year-old member of a church where Johnson is the pastor, the Associated Press reported.
Officials reacted on Twitter:
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
Just terrible news from Kentucky tonight on the passing of Rep. Dan Johnson. I cannot imagine his pain or the heartbreak his family is dealing with tonight. Kelley and I pray for his loved ones.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 14, 2017
Think of his family and pray for them.