Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson (R) sang a Christmas carol about the Baby Jesus before denying that he raped Maranda Richmond — who attended his church four years ago — when she was only 17 years old.
Johnson made news in 2016 when he posted, and later removed, racist images on Facebook of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as monkeys, notes the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Johnson held a press conference in the pulpit of Heart of Fire Church where he sang and denied Richmond’s allegations:
There’s no perfect people. This allegation concerning this lady, this young girl, absolutely has no merit. I don’t want to blast this girl, I have compassion for her.
Richmond told Louisiana Public Media that Johnson was her pastor when he sexually assaulted after she went to sleep at a New Year’s party.
Louisiana Public Media reported Richmond’s version of the events:
That night, she woke after settling in on the sofa. She was groggy, unfocused. But she saw Johnson kneeling above her. He gave her a kiss on the head. She thought it fatherly, nothing out of the ordinary, simply one last goodnight gesture.
Then he started to stroke her arm. He slid his hands up, under her shirt and bra, and groped her. He stuck his tongue in her mouth. Then, he forced his hands down her pants, underneath her underwear, and penetrated her with his finger.
She begged her pastor to stop and tried to force him off, quietly. She remembers not wanting to awaken Sarah. But Johnson was a big man, roughly twice her weight.
He told her she’d like it. She said no, she didn’t. She pleaded with him: go away, go away.