Dan Johnson, a Republican Kentucky lawmaker who gained internet infamy after comparing the Obamas to monkeys, died Wednesday in an apparent suicide, according to The Associated Press.
SEE ALSO: WATCH: Black Lawmakers Outraged About Alabama Lawmaker’s Racist ‘Monkeys’ Email
The incident came amid allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl, who was a member of his church, in the basement of his home in 2013, the report said. He died of a single gunshot wound to the head, and a gun was recovered at the scene, police said.
Johnson, the 57-year-old pastor of Heart of Fire Church in Louisville, was part of a slate of Republican candidates who rode to victory in 2016, giving the party control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 100 years.
He won although Republican leaders urged him to quit the race after media reports surfaced about some of his Facebook posts comparing Barack and Michelle Obama to monkeys. During his tenure, he sponsored measures having to do with religious liberty and teaching the Bible in public schools, the AP wrote.
His body was discovered two days after a 21-year-old woman revealed graphic details about the alleged assault that occurred when she was 17. Johnson denied the allegations and refused to resign.
His death comes as scores of powerful men have been forced to step down amid allegations of sexual assault and rape, including Tavis Smiley, and Russell Simmons.
SOURCE: The Washington Post, The Associated Press
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