'Gun Choir' Lawmaker Accused of Sexual Assault

Dan Johnson also once compared Barack and Michelle Obama to monkeys
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2017 5:35 PM CST
'Gun Choir' Lawmaker Accused of Sexual Assault
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2016 file photo, Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson speaks during a news conference outside the Bullitt County courthouse in Shepherdsville, Ky. Johnson, who attracted national attention last year when he compared President Barack Obama and his wife to monkeys has been accused of...   (AP Photo/Claire Galofaro, File)

A Republican Kentucky lawmaker known for his inflammatory social media posts comparing President Barack Obama and his wife to monkeys has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who attended his church. Both Republican and Democratic leaders on Monday called for Dan Johnson to resign, the AP reports. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting quotes Maranda Richmond as saying that Johnson assaulted her in the basement of his house in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2013. Police records obtained by the news organization show Richmond told them about the assault in 2013. But investigators closed the case and did not file charges. Johnson was elected to the state legislature in 2016.

David Osborne, acting speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, said the report was "compelling and deeply troubling." Republican Gov. Matt Bevin was more cautious, saying he had not read the report and "let's wait until we get some facts" before commenting. This is the second time Republican leaders have asked for Johnson's resignation. In 2016, while he was a candidate for office, he was criticized for posting photos on Facebook comparing Barack and Michelle Obama to monkeys. He rejected Republican leaders' calls to drop out of the race and ended up winning it. Johnson is the bishop of Heart of Fire ministries in Louisville. The church is known for its "gun choir," which features Johnson and others holding guns while singing "Amazing Grace."

(More sexual assault stories.)

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