MOUNT WASHINGTON, KY (WAVE) - Just days after a report surfaced alleging he assaulted a teenage girl in 2013, Kentucky State Representative "Pope" Dan Johnson has committed suicide.
Johnson took his life in Bullitt County Wednesday night, according to Bullitt County Coroner David Billings.
Around 5 p.m. Wednesday, Johnson posted what appeared to be a suicide note to his Facebook page. In that note, Johnson denied allegations laid out in the story by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
Billings said officials saw the post on Johnson's Facebook and pinged his phone to check on him. When they arrived to his location, he was dead.
His cause of death was a single gunshot wound, according to Billings. An autopsy performed Thursday showed Johnson's cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head. Billings ruled his death as a suicide.
Politicians are reacting to Johnson's death.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin posted his condolences on Twitter minutes after the news broke.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul also shared his prayers.
Former Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives Jeff Hoover sent a Tweet saying Johnson was there for him before his recent resignation due to sexual harassment allegations in early November:
Bullitt County Judge Executive Melanie Roberts shared the following statement:
Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Mac Brown issued the following statement:
Louisville Public Media, who published the recent report on Johnson's alleged sexual assault, issued a statement Wednesday night::
"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.
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."
Johnson attracted national attention while running for office in 2016, because of his Facebook posts depicting the Obamas as apes. Strongly supporting President Trump, Johnson beat the incumbent Democrat Linda Belcher for the seat.