A second woman has come forward with an allegation of sexual assault against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D-VA), claiming the embattled Virginia Democrat raped her while they were in college in 2000.
In a statement through her lawyer, the accuser, Meredith Watson said she confided in classmates about the alleged incident immediately after it occurred, and shared her account with others in emails and Facebook messages. According to Watson, while she and Fairfax were friends at Duke University, the two had not dated or been intimate prior to the alleged incident. “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,” Watson’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, said Friday. “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.”
NEW: Another woman comes forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault, this time in 2000 > pic.twitter.com/NHNiYx8mLV
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 8, 2019
Watson is calling on Fairfax to resign.
In a statement to the Washington Post, Fairfax spokesperson Lauren Burke said: “[W]e’re calling for an investigation on all of these matters.”
On Wednesday, Fairfax’s first accuser, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, went public with her allegation, claiming the Lt. governor sexually assaulted her during the 2004 Democrat National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.
“With tremendous anguish, I am now sharing this information about my experience and setting the record straight,” Tyson, a professor from California, said in a statement through her law firm Katz Marshall & Banks. “It has been extremely difficult to relive that traumatic experience from 2004. Mr. Fairfax has tried to brand me as a liar to a national audience, in service to his political ambitions, and has threatened litigation. Given his false assertions, I’m compelled to make clear what happened.”
Tyson alleges Fairfax turned “consensual kissing” into a “sexual assault,” adding that he forced her to “perform oral sex on him” even as she cried and attempted to pull her head away from his genitals.
The Virginia Democrat denied any wrongdoing, claiming there encounter was consensual.
In a previous statement, Fairfax said of the allegation that he “has never assaulted anyone – ever – in any way, shape or form.”
“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect,” the Monday statement read. “This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above,” the statement continued.
He also warned he would take “appropriate legal action against those attempting to spread this defamatory and false allegation.”