Kentucky Legislator Accused Of Molesting Teenage Girl Commits Suicide

An investigative report claimed Dan Johnson, who is also a minister, sexually assaulted a church member's daughter.

Kentucky officials say Rep. Dan Johnson committed suicide after sexual assault allegations were made against him.
Timothy D. Easley / AP Images

An investigative report claimed Dan Johnson, who is also a minister, sexually assaulted a church member's daughter.

A Kentucky legislator who was accused of molesting the 17-year-old daughter of a friend committed suicide today, according to Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tindell.

Tindell told WDRB that Rep. Dan Johnson shot himself to death on a bridge in Mt. Washington and that the gun had been recovered.

Johnson’s death came shortly after he addressed the sexual assault allegations in a Facebook post that appeared to lump his case in with other politicians, such as unsuccessful Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore and President Donald Trump, who have been accused of sexual misconduct, but Johnson also appeared to be considering taking his life.

The allegations against Johnson were made in an article by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, based on a seven-month investigation that included more than 100 interviews and thousands of pages of public documents.

The article alleged Johnson, a minister at the Heart of Fire Church in the Louisville area, and who talked in 2013, two years before Trump’s presidential candidacy began, about making America great again, was connected to arson.

It was the accusation that he had drunkenly molested the 17-year-old daughter of one of his church members at his home that appeared to have the most effect on Johnson.

“America will not survive this kind of judge and jury fake news. Conservatives take a stand.”

A few sentences later, Johnson said he had post traumatic stress syndrome “24/7” for “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.”

Johnson finished his message by saying, “GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE, NO MATTER WHAT.”

Though Johnson’s final message spoke of God, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting article provided a detailed account of Johnson’s alleged molestation of the teenager.

According to the account, the girl was sleeping in the minister’s home in the same room with Johnson’s daughter, Sarah, who was her friend, when she woke up and saw Johnson kneeling beside her. After a kiss on the head, which she did not consider to be a problem, Johnson continued to touch her, she told the reporters.

Rep. Dan Johnson's suicide came one day after he said he would not resign his House seat.
  Timothy D. Easley / AP Images

According to the girl’s account, Johnson “slid his hands up under her shirt and bra, and groped her. He stuck his tongue in her mouth. Then, he forced his hands down her pants, underneath her underwear, and penetrated her with his finger.”

The girl said she begged Johnson to stop and tried to throw him off her, but he was much bigger than she was. She told the reporters she did not want to make noise and wake Johnson’s daughter.

Up until that time, she had considered Johnson to be “a second dad.”

Johnson’s death occurred just one day after he held a news conference saying he would not resign his office and that the charges were politically motivated.