A Kentucky lawmaker was accused of molesting a teen. Then he shot himself in the head
Hrs later on, he was uncovered lifeless.
Condition leaders from both equally functions experienced been contacting for Johnson’s instant resignation after the Kentucky Middle for Investigative Reporting posted a report Monday detailing allegations that Johnson woke his daughter’s friend through a sleepover in 2013 and forced himself on her, slipping his fingers up her shirt and bra and putting his fingers in her vagina.
“What you did was beyond suggest it was evil,” the target stated she wrote in a Facebook message to Johnson shortly after the alleged assault, according to KyCIR.
Johnson stated that the incident under no circumstances happened. “This allegation about this lady, this younger lady, certainly has no merit, these are unfounded accusations, entirely,” he stated on Tuesday, according to the Courier-Journal.
The younger female, now 21, explained to KyCIR that for yrs she experienced thought of Johnson to be a “second dad.” She turned close with his daughter, Sarah, and acquainted with the boozy weekend functions Johnson would toss at the “Pope’s House” — the fellowship hall next to the Coronary heart of Fire Church. Individuals functions, KyCIR noted, showcased scantily clad women of all ages, physique photographs and costumes.
In the initial several hours of 2013, as a New Year’s Eve get together came to an end, the female stated, she was paying out the night with Johnson’s daughter in the apartment underneath the fellowship hall, according to the report. The Washington Submit does not recognize victims of sexual assault devoid of their consent.
Johnson entered the apartment, drunk and stumbling, so the then-teenager aided him navigate the stairs, she stated. She thought he was putting his arm about her for balance, till his hand allegedly slipped up the girl’s shirt, KyCIR noted.
The target then woke up later on that night on the couch, she explained to KyCIR, and uncovered Johnson kneeling earlier mentioned her. She explained to KyCIR that Johnson kissed her brow and then slipped his fingers up her shirt and bra. The report stated he groped her, caught his tongue in her mouth and place his fingers in her vagina. She begged him to quit and tried out to force the guy, who weighed two times as significantly as she did, off her devoid of waking Johnson’s daughter, KyCIR noted.
“He explained to her she’d like it. She stated no, she didn’t. She pleaded with him: go absent, go absent,” KyCIR noted. He eventually did.
The KyCIR report highlights how Johnson — recognised in his church community as “Danny Ray Johnson” — painted a photo of himself more than the yrs as a professional-gun, antiabortion “patriot,” which aided propel him into the Kentucky legislature in 2016, when he received the House’s 49th District seat. But the 7-thirty day period investigation, comprised of more than 100 interviews and 1000’s of pages of public documents, alleges the Republican’s persona is orchestrated to mask troubling incidents — like sexual abuse, arson and untrue testimony.
Michael Skoler, the president of Louisville Community Media — which operates KyCIR — stated in a assertion Wednesday to The Submit that the organization was “deeply sad” to hear about Johnson’s loss of life and was grieving “for his loved ones, mates, church community and constituents.”
“Our aim, as generally, is to offer the public with simple fact-primarily based, impartial reporting and keep public officers accountable for their steps,” Skoler stated. “As element of our method, we reached out to Agent Johnson quite a few occasions more than the program of a 7-thirty day period investigation. He declined requests to communicate about our findings.”
Johnson’s wife explained to the Related Push in a assertion Thursday that she desires to substitute him in the point out legislature. Rebecca Johnson termed her husband’s loss of life a “high-tech lynching primarily based on lies and 50 percent-truths,” the AP noted.
Paul Ham, the chairman of the Bullitt County GOP, stated Thursday that “the community is not dealing with it quite well” and slammed the KyCIR report, which he termed “the catalyst that started off the whole issue.”
“The tale was primarily based on hearsay: no arrest, no conviction, no jail time,” he stated. “Back when the Structure meant a thing, a guy could stand prior to a jury of his friends. But now, it’s just, ‘Let’s just make some accusations and run with it.’ We’re in a quite poor put.”
Adhering to the information of Johnson’s loss of life, yet another Kentucky Republican, point out Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, lashed out at the media — and his individual get together.
Hrs later on, Morgan shared the National Suicide Avoidance Lifeline‘s 1-800 quantity, and stated: “People will say and do horrible issues to you in this world. But nothing at all is worth taking your daily life.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, tweeted about Johnson’s loss of life, declaring: “I can not think about his suffering or the heartbreak his loved ones is working with.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin stated he was saddened by the information of Johnson’s loss of life, writing on Twitter: “My coronary heart breaks for his loved ones … May well God indeed drop His grace on us all.”
Bevin also termed for an end to “all the terrible, vulgar opinions & other despicable responses to the information.”
The accusations from Johnson came as dozens of superior-profile men have been fired or have resigned from their employment in politics, media, leisure and organization after facing allegations of sexually harassing or assaulting women of all ages and men.
They include things like Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and broadcaster Charlie Rose.
Democratcs Sen. Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers Jr. both equally stated previous 7 days that they would go away Congress more than sexual misconduct allegations. On Thursday, numerous Republicans stated that Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold will not search for reelection next calendar year. Farenthold is underneath scrutiny for allegations that he sexually harassed feminine employees users and developed a hostile work natural environment.
In Kentucky, other Dwelling Republicans facing scandal in the latest months keep on being in the point out legislature. Former Kentucky Dwelling speaker Jeff Hoover, after admitting he compensated to settle a sexual harassment assert designed by a female in his business office, resigned from his leadership situation previous thirty day period but is even now a point out agent. 3 other lawmakers concerned in the secretive settlement shed their committee chairmanships but also even now provide as representatives.
It was not the initial time leaders termed for Johnson to move down. In 2016, although jogging for business office, he posted racist pictures on his Facebook webpage that in comparison President Barack Obama and initial lady Michelle Obama to monkeys. He disregarded the calls for him to drop out of the race — and received.
At a information meeting at the church Tuesday, together with loved ones, marketing campaign users and other church users, Johnson stated the female accusing him was enthusiastic by his political opponents, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The female supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, Johnson stated, and disagreed with his conservative stance on abortion legal rights.
“This is an assault on all real individuals. There is no great individuals, and you get into business office and all of sudden political hacks appear from you and get started accusing you after you are in business office,” Johnson stated.
He extra that there is a “season” of sexual abuse allegations in politics, referring to the accusations from President Trump and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. He stated he didn’t think all the women of all ages who’ve spoken out about abuse across the nation have been lying, on the other hand.
The female accusing Johnson explained to KyCIR that she under no circumstances returned to the apartment underneath the fellowship hall. When she didn’t show up to the church for services the pursuing Sunday, Johnson sent her a Facebook message, the report stated. In the message, he stated his daughter explained to him he experienced been “mean” to the target, and to his son, Boaz, the night of the get together, the KyCIR report stated.
“Sarah stated I was suggest to Bo You and Her by telling you all to go to bed so sorry do not don’t forget I was explained to we all acquired drugged at TK’s anyway so sorry if I sounded suggest, you know you are just one of my favorites, really like you sorry! Boaz did Terrific Sunday! Your foreseeable future Husband!” the message go through, according to KyCIR. TK’s refers to T.K.’s Pub, a local bar.
The target explained to KyCIR that she responded the next day, declaring: “Drugged or not, I think you know what happened that night and that is why you are sending this message. I under no circumstances thought a thing like that would take place to me, especially by anyone like you. I appeared at you as a Dad, but now I sincerely hope I do not see you again, but I may well attempt to keep a connection with your young children. And there is no place in responding to this message either because I do not want to communicate about it at any time again.”
Louisville metro law enforcement stated they shut the case after investigating the allegations, according to KyCIR.
On Tuesday, Johnson acknowledged that he sent the target a Facebook message shortly after the night she stayed more than, but again stated he did not don’t forget what happened on the night of the alleged abuse because he was “drugged” at the bar, according to the Courier-Journal. He stated he didn’t file a law enforcement report about the alleged drugging because he did not want to convey accusations from a bar.
He later on stated at the information meeting that he did remember what happened on that night and that he under no circumstances approached the target although she was sleeping, according to the Courier-Journal.
The KyCIR report also detailed other incidents from Johnson’s earlier. A grand jury indicted him for complicity to dedicate arson and producing a untrue law enforcement report in 1987, according to the report, which implies Johnson might have been linked in yet another arson incident 13 yrs later on in which his individual church was burned down.