2nd accuser comes forward against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax

Blanche Robertson
February 10, 2019

"I believe and trust that due process will provide the fairness, justice and honesty that is necessary", Fairfax said in a statement on Saturday.

According to Watson's attorneys, former classmates have provided statements corroborating the allegations and that she "immediately told friends that Fairfax had raped her".

In its statement about Watson's accusation, Smith Mullin said the attack by Fairfax "was premeditated and aggressive", while also saying that Fairfax and Watson "were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship". Tyson said in a statement through her law firm Katz Marshall & Banks: With tremendous anguish, I am now sharing this information about my experience and setting the record straight", "It has been extremely hard to relive that traumatic experience from 2004.

Watson's account comes on the heels of a lengthy statement from Tyson, who has said she met Fairfax at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

Later on Friday night the state House and Senate Democrats called on Fairfax to resign.

Despite mounting calls for his resignation, Northam told the Post that he sees the "horrific" reckoning that came out of the scandal as a way to refocus his governorship.

The latest development - a second woman, Meredith Watson, accusing Fairfax of rape Friday afternoon - capped an extraordinary week where the fortunes of Democrats' top three elected officials in Virginia ebbed and flowed as demoralized party operatives, enraged elected officials and dumbfounded state legislators attempted to make sense of how their once-prosperous party was now in a smoldering heap.

"On Monday, I will be introducing articles of impeachment for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax if he has not resigned before then", Hope wrote on Twitter.

"She was upset, said Adams".

"The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible".

As the crisis widened by midweek, Democratic leaders, and black members of the Virginia legislature appeared willing to give both Fairfax and Herring the benefit of the doubt for the time being-in Herring's case, because he apologized personally for wearing blackface.

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On Friday, a law firm representing the second woman, Meredith Watson, issued a statement on her behalf outlining her allegation. If Democrats do not oust Mr. Fairfax, at a time when the party has taken a zero-tolerance stand on sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, they could anger female voters.

Fairfax, who is black, has denied both claims and called them a "co-ordinated smear campaign".

Regardless, the Virginia Democratic Caucus is calling upon Fairfax to resign.

Women and African-Americans have never been more politically powerful: The Democrats' 40-seat win in the House midterm elections in November, as well as their 2017 triumph in the top Virginia races, was powered in no small part by those voters.

Top Democrats running for president in 2020 called for Fairfax's resignation, including Sens.

"Allegations of sexual assault need to be taken seriously".

Northam said he has had painful conversations this week with black lawmakers - who continue to call publicly for him to resign - about the issue of blackface, and why it was wrong for him to darken his face to portray Michael Jackson in a San Antonio dance contest in 1984, as he has admitted doing.

Until a week ago, Fairfax was a fast-rising star in the Democratic Party and is only the second African-American to ever hold statewide office.

Fairfax, 39, who is first in line to succeed the state's embattled governor, Ralph Northam, a fellow Democrat under intense pressure to resign for his admitted racially offensive behaviour, denied the latest accusation as "demonstrably false".

Although the Democratic Party has taken nearly a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct among its members in this #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly to them: If all three Democrats resigned, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would become governor.

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