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The Bullitt County coroner ruled Johnson’s death a “probable suicide,” and Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said a gun was recovered at the scene.
On Tuesday, Johnson denied allegations that he had molested a 17-year-old member of his church. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published a report from a 7-month investigation Monday alleging that Johnson, who was a pastor at Heart of Fire City Church, sexually assaulted his daughter’s friend.
Maranda Richmond, who is now 21, told reporters that after a New Year’s Eve party at Johnson’s house in 2012, she woke up on a couch to Johnson kneeling above her and that he groped and assaulted her.
“She begged her pastor to stop and tried to force him off, quietly,” KYCIR reported.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Johnson denied Richmond’s accusations and said he would not step down.
“This allegation concerning this lady, this young girl, absolutely has no merit, these are unfounded accusations, totally,” he said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
WDRB reported that Wednesday evening, Johnson posted to Facebook.
“The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be,” Johnson wrote. “AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news. Conservatives take a stand.”
He also referenced 9/11, saying he suffered from PTSD after the attacks and calling it “a sickness that will take my life.” He wrote, “blame no person, Satan is the accuser so blame the Devil himself.”
Following Johnson’s death, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said his heart “breaks for his family tonight.”
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
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tweeted that he “cannot imagine his pain or the heartbreak his family is dealing with tonight.”
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
For more information about suicide prevention or to speak with someone confidentially, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) or Samaritans (U.K.).
H/T BuzzFeed News
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.