Was Dan Johnson's Death a High-Tech Lynching?
That is what the widow of Kentucky State Rep Dan Johnson, who killed himself over molestation accusations, said about her husband's suicide :
LOUISVILLE — Dan Johnson posted a final message to his friends and family Wednesday afternoon on Facebook. It appeared to be a goodbye.
In it, Johnson denied the accusations that had tormented him and his family for the past 48 hours — that he, a Kentucky state representative and the self-proclaimed “Pope” of his Louisville church, had gotten drunk and molested a 17-year-old girl during a sleepover years ago.
“GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be,” Johnson wrote in the since-deleted post. “I cannot handle it any longer . . . BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME.”
The Republican lawmaker then drove to a graffiti-covered bridge outside Mount Washington, Ky., a quiet and isolated spot called the River Bottoms. He parked, stepped out of his car and shot himself with a .40-caliber handgun, according to Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell.
The apparent suicide of a well-known local figure was another dark and dramatic turn in the nation’s reckoning with sexual assault and harassment, with near-daily revelations about powerful men leading to sudden falls from positions of power in entertainment, business, the media and politics. Many of those cases have led to denials, resignations and apologies; although Johnson denied the allegations, some think they pushed him over the edge....
“Dan is gone but the story of his life is far from over,” Rebecca Johnson said through Adams. “These high-tech lynchings based on lies and half-truths can’t be allowed to win the day. I’ve been fighting behind my husband for 30 years and his fight will go on.”
Paul Ham, chairman of the Bullitt County Republican Party, slammed the reported allegations, saying they were “the catalyst that started the whole thing.”
“The story was based on hearsay: No arrest, no conviction, no jail time,” Ham said. “Back when the Constitution meant something, a man could stand before a jury of his peers. But now, it’s just, ‘Let’s just make some accusations and run with it.’ We’re in a very bad place.”