Two days ago, allegations surfaced that Kentucky state representative Dan Johnson sexually assaulted his daughter's 17-year-old friend in 2013. Today, Johnson died in an apparent suicide, The New York Times reports.
The Republican lawmaker died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to The Washington Post. A full autopsy will be conducted on Thursday.
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting released the exposé complete with plenty of corroborating evidence, prompting state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to call for Johnson's resignation.
According to the alleged victim, who is now 21, Johnson assaulted her while she was asleep on his family's couch. She says he kissed her, groped her breasts, and digitally penetrated her vagina. Although she reported the alleged assault to the Louisville Metro Police Department, no charges were filed. According to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, she told family members about the assault and sent Johnson a Facebook message describing his actions as "evil." A therapist's notes from 2013 also corroborate her account.
On Tuesday, Johnson described the allegations as "politically motivated" and said he would not resign from his position, as reported by The Courier Journal.
"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," the KYCIR said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening. "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."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call theRAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).