Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Second Accuser Comes Forward Against Virginia Democrat Justin Fairfax

Second Accuser Comes Forward Against Virginia Democrat Justin Fairfax

No sooner was the spotlight put on Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax - first in line to succeed Northam and who would become only the second African-American to lead the state - then Fairfax himself came under a cloud.

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol, on February 7.

Under state law, the lieutenant governor may be impeached by the House of Delegates and prosecuted before the Senate for malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crimes and misdemeanor.

Fairfax has denied Watson's allegations, claiming there is a "smear campaign" targeting him.

Meredith Watson said in a letter sent by her lawyer on Friday that Fairfax raped her in 2000, while the two were friends at Duke University.

In a statement, Fairfax denies the allegation and refuses to step down. "I have never forced myself on anyone ever", his statement reads.

"I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation", Fairfax said in a statement reported by the Washington Post Friday afternoon.

Fairfax vowed to clear his "good name", and noted he has passed Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks and run for office "with nothing like this being raised before". "Nor will I request any other official to resign until it is obvious that they have committed a crime in office or their ability to serve is irredeemably compromised".

At this point, I think we should believe the women, as the saying goes. A former boyfriend of Tyson's says, in essence, that she would not consensually have performed the act Fairfax admits she performed on him - oral sex.


His call to resign was joined by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat representing suburbs in northern Virginiaas well as by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, a 2020 presidential candidate.

Duke campus police have no criminal reports naming Fairfax, university spokesman Michael Schoenfeld said.

Many Democrats who had carefully withheld judgment after the first accusation against Fairfax, saying the matter needed to be investigated, immediately turned against him.

Tyson explained that she chose to come forward to the public now after learning that Fairfax might become the new governor of Virginia. It is unacceptable that either of these weighty responsibilities be entrusted to someone who has engaged in the behavior described by Dr. Tyson and Meredith Watson, particularly in light of Gov. Northam's situation, which we continue to believe requires his resignation. The release said the attack was "premeditated and aggressive", and that Watson told friends about the rape in a series of Facebook messages and emails.

Numerous state's Democrats have called on Northam to step down over the yearbook photo, which shows one person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan attire. The governor, also a Democrat, admitted to using blackface earlier this month, after the discovery of a racist image on his page in a decades-old yearbook.

What does she say and he say?

As the crisis deepened in the middle of the week, 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.

Dr. Tyson did not tell anyone in 2004 about the encounter with Mr. Fairfax, according to people close to her legal team, and she did not notify or file a complaint with police...

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