Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax was hit with new allegations of sexual misconduct on Friday, triggering calls for his resignation.
Meredith Watson, who said she was raped in 2000 while she and Fairfax attended Duke University, released a statement through her attorneys that said the assault upon her was “premeditated and aggressive.”
Fairfax issued a speedy denial, The Washington Post reported.
“I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation,” Fairfax said in a statement. “It is demonstrably false. I have never forced myself on anyone ever.”
However, the second accusation has led some to call for Fairfax to resign.
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted that the time has come for Fairfax to step down.
“The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible,” McAuliffe tweeted. “It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation.”
The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 8, 2019
Democratic Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton of Virginia echoed that call.
“I believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson. I believe Meredith Watson. And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign,” she tweeted.
I believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson.
I believe Meredith Watson.
And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign.
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) February 8, 2019
Others echoed that demand.
Given recent developments, I believe that it is best for the Commonwealth of Virginia if Justin Fairfax dealt with these accusations as a private citizen. He can no longer serve us as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
— Rep. Donald McEachin (@RepMcEachin) February 8, 2019
These credible and troubling allegations from Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson make it clear that Lt. Gov Fairfax should resign. My heart goes out to these brave women and their families.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 8, 2019
Fairfax, however, was resisting that call as of Friday afternoon.
“I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations,” the statement said. “I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide. I have passed two full field background checks by the FBI and run for office in two highly contested elections with nothing like this being raised before. “
Watson’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, said Watson is not seeking publicity but does believe Fairfax should step down.
“At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character,” Smith said in the statement.
“She has no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life. Similarly, she is not seeking any financial damages.”
Watson’s allegation comes several days after Vanessa Tyson claimed she was sexually assaulted by Fairfax in 2004 when they were both at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Fairfax has denied Tyson’s allegation as well.
The statement issued by Watson claimed that she “shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.”
In its reporting on the accusations, the Post quoted Kaneedreck Adams, 40, as corroborating her story.
Adams said he attended Duke at the same time as Watson.
“She was upset,” Adams said. “She told me she had been raped and she named Justin.”
“She said she couldn’t speak, but she was trying to get up and he kept pushing her down,” Adams said. “She said he knew that she didn’t like what was happening, but he kept pushing her down.”
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