One Kentucky state representative who was under investigation for molesting a 17-year-old girl back in 2012 has committed suicide and leaving a public suicide note where he blamed media reports about the allegations for driving him to such desperation.
Police were called to the scene around 7:30 p.m. Authorities discovered the lawmaker's body in front of his truck and a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun nearby.
Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said Johnson drove onto 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 nearby, according to WDRB.com.
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 !
Relatives became concerned after seeing the post and reached out to law enforcement. Officers then pinged Johnson's phone and found his body.
Johnson held a press conference at his church on Tuesday 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