USA lawmaker kills himself amid sexual misconduct allegations

Coroner: Accused state lawmaker's death is apparent suicide

Kentucky state lawmaker commits suicide after molestation accusations, reports say

A Kentucky state representative committed suicide days after he denied allegations of sexual misconduct and refused to step down from his office. The lawmaker is said to have driven to the bridge on the Salt River on Wednesday, December 13, and shot himself in front of his vehicle.

A Republican state representative in Kentucky says a woman's claim that he sexually assaulted her in 2013 has no merit and he will not resign.

On Monday, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an extensive investigation alleging that Mr. Johnson had sexually assaulted a 17-year-old parishioner at the Heart of Fire Church in nearby Louisville, an evangelical church where he was bishop.

Johnson told reporters on Tuesday that the accusations were "totally false".

Johnson was elected in 2016 despite becoming known for a 2016 Facebook post comparing President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama to monkeys, WDRB-TV has reported. "AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news", the Republican lawmaker wrote.

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Billings said law enforcement officials had been searching for Johnson after someone read a post on his Facebook page, became concerned and contacted police.

He faced accusation of molesting a minor in his basement in 2013.

Kentucky Republican Jeff Hoover recently resigned his post as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said on Twitter "Just awful news from Kentucky tonight on the passing of Rep. Dan Johnson".

Johnson was never criminally charged. I never thought something like that would happen to me, especially by someone like you.

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Michael Skoler, president of Louisville Public Media, which owns the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, said everyone at the organization is "deeply sad". "And there is no point in responding to this message either because I don't want to talk about it ever again".

The woman said that she had filed a complaint with the local police who did not pursue the case. "I don't want to blast this girl, I have a lot of compassion for her", Johnson said, according to the Courier-Journal.

Then shortly before 17:00 (22:00 GMT) on Wednesday, he posted a message on Facebook paying tribute to his family and saying he had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder for 16 years - "a sickness that will take my life".

Representative Dan Johnson has killed himself, according to sources.

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