Kentucky State Representative Dan Johnson, a local preacher in addition to being a representative, took his own life with self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on a bridge over the Salt River on Greenwell Ford Road in Mt. Washington on Wednesday.
Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Johnson posted the following message on his Facebook page:
The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news . Conservatives take a stand. I LOVE GOD and I LOVE MY WIFE, who is the best WIFE in the world,My Love Forever ! My Mom and Dad my FAMILY and all five of my kids and Nine grandchildren two in tummies and many more to come each of you or a total gift from GOD stay strong, REBECCA needs YOU . 9-11-2001 NYC/WTC, PTSD 24/7 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. “PLEASE LISTEN CLOSELY, Only Three things I ask of you to do,if you love me is (1)blame no person,Satan is the accuser, so blame the Devil himself. (2) Forgive and Love everyone especially yourself .(3)most importantly LOVE GOD. P.S. I LOVE MY FRIENDS YOU ARE FAMILY ! GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT !
According to WDRB, “The coroner said police were alerted after someone saw the Facebook post. Officers then pinged Johnson’s phone and found his body.”
Johnson’s body was found in front of his vehicle.
Johnson was known as “the pope” by those closest to him. The allegations against him were from a Maranda Richmond, 21, who was 17 at the time and claimed that during a church party at Johnson’s home, he molested her.
According to Richmond, the Johnson’s would serve alcohol and that on New Year’s Eve 2012, she partook and she and Johnson’s daughter, Sarah, fell asleep on a sofa. She then recounted:
That night, she woke after settling in on the sofa. She was groggy, unfocused. But she saw Johnson kneeling above her. He gave her a kiss on the head. She thought it fatherly, nothing out of the ordinary, simply one last goodnight gesture.
Then he started to stroke her arm. He 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.
She begged her pastor to stop and tried to force him off, quietly. She remembers not wanting to awaken Sarah. But Johnson was a big man, roughly twice her weight.
He told her she’d like it. She said no, she didn’t. She pleaded with him: go away, go away.
Eventually, he did.
Johnson was never criminally charged in the matter, though Maranda did have therapy following the alleged incident.
I don’t know what happened in this incident. I know there is apparently a lot more going on for a long time with Ms. Richmond, and police were informed at the time.
Shortly after Maranda told her parents, the three of them went to police. It was April 2013. Officers wanted Maranda to meet with Johnson and secretly record their conversation, hoping he would confess.
She was afraid to go through with it.
Instead, a detective had her call Johnson on a recorded line. Johnson didn’t answer. He didn’t respond to a Facebook message either.
Cliff had stopped going to Heart of Fire after Maranda shared her story. But, police asked him to make his own recorded call to Johnson.
This time, the Pope answered.
A scratchy recording of the call captures Cliff and Johnson making small talk for a few moments. Then Cliff asks point-blank: Did you sexually assault my daughter?
Johnson denies it. He repeats his earlier claim — in the Facebook message to Maranda — that he’d been drugged that night. He says he didn’t remember.
The call ends unremarkably. So did the case.
Police did little after that call. Investigators closed the case. No charges were filed.
Unlike the woman who accused Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was 14, Richmond told her parents just months after it occurred. So, the incident doesn’t appear to be politically motivated.
However, why would a man take his own life over false accusations, especially a preacher?
It makes me question where his faith was because I’m not sure that I’m seeing it in God.
While he is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, I admit that there is far more to this story then there was to the accusations against Roy Moore.
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
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