A Kentucky state lawmaker accused of molesting a teenage girl was found dead yesterday with a gunshot wound to the head, in what authorities called a "probable suicide", local media reported. State Representative Dan Johnson, a Republican, had earlier posted a note on his Facebook page denying the allegations laid out in a story by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, a non-profit created by Kentucky Public Radio.
"The accusations ... are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth. Nothing is the way they make it out to be ... GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT," Johnson wrote, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The post was later taken down.
Johnson was accused by a woman of molesting her when she was 17 after a New Year's party in 2012. Bullitt County Coroner David Billings told reporters that the Facebook post triggered a search, and when officials found Johnson he was dead of single gunshot to the head. Billings told local news outlets the death was being treated as "a probable suicide".
Condolences poured in from shocked Kentucky political leaders, including Governor Matt Bevin and Senator Rand Paul.
The turn of events comes in the midst of a national reckoning over sexual harassment that has brought down well-known figures in the worlds of entertainment, media, fashion and politics.
In Alabama, Republican candidate Roy Moore was defeated Tuesday in a race for a vacant U.S. Senate seat dominated by allegations that the former judge had preyed on teenage girls when he was in his 30s. His rival Doug Jones became the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate in conservative Alabama in a quarter century.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has called on President Donald Trump to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct that emerged during the 2016 campaign. Trump responded by calling Gillibrand a "lightweight senator" who "would do anything" for campaign contributions.
Three women who claim they were sexually harassed by Trump before he ran for president urged lawmakers on Monday to open an inquiry into his alleged misconduct, which includes unwanted kissing, touching and groping.