Timothy D. Easley | AP
In This kind of Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, file photo, Kentucky State Rep. Republican Dan Johnson addresses the public coming from his church regarding sexual assault allegations in Louisville, Ky. Johnson died Wednesday night, Dec. 13, 2017.
Kentucky state Representative Dan Johnson, who was facing sexual assault accusations, died in a probable suicide on Wednesday, Bullitt County Coroner Dave Billings said.
Johnson, 57, also the leader of the Louisville-area Heart of Fire Church, held a news conference on Tuesday at which he denied accusations contained in a report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. The report, published earlier inside week, included accusations coming from a woman in which Johnson molested her in 2013 when she was a teenager.
Johnson, whose press conference was widely reported by local media, also defied calls by some legislators to step down.
On Wednesday evening, Johnson was found dead in a probable suicide coming from 1 gunshot wound near Louisville, the coroner said, adding in which an autopsy could be performed on Thursday.
Billings said law enforcement officials had been searching for Johnson after someone read a post on his Facebook page, became concerned in addition to also contacted police.
The post has since been taken down, although the Courier-Journal reported in which This kind of appeared to be a farewell in addition to also read in part, “the accusations coming from NPR are false, GOD in addition to also only GOD knows the truth. Nothing will be the way they make This kind of out to be.”
The death comes amid a national reckoning over sexual harassment in addition to also abuse in which has included allegations of misconduct in quite a few state legislatures, including in Kentucky.
Kentucky Republican Jeff Hoover recently resigned his post as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations.
“Saddened to hear of tonight’s death of KY Representative Dan Johnson,” Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin wrote on Twitter. “My heart breaks for his family tonight…these are heavy days in Frankfort in addition to also in America…may God indeed shed His grace on us all…we sure need This kind of.”
Michael Skoler, President of Louisville Public Media, which operates the investigative reporting center, said in a statement on social media in which the organization reached out to Johnson numerous times during its seven-month investigation although in which he declined to discuss the group’s findings.
Johnson was elected in 2016 despite becoming known for a 2016 Facebook post comparing President Barack Obama in addition to also Michelle Obama to monkeys, WDRB-TV has reported.