VA. LT. Gov. removed from DLGA after 2nd assault accuser comes forward


CREDIT Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

What does she say and he say?

The statement was issued hours after the second woman came forward Friday to accuse Fairfax, a Democrat, of sexual assault.

The woman claimed Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex while they were students at Duke University in 2000.

Northam, Fairfax and Herring, who are now all facing calls to resign, represent the top three rungs in the line of succession of Virginia's governorship, the fourth being Stephen Newman, the president pro tempore of the Senate of Virginia. Consequently, I call on all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me by Ms. Watson and Dr. Tyson. "It is demonstrably false". I say again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else. "I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide".

"I have passed two full field background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and run for office in two highly contested elections with nothing like this being raised before".

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

Virginia Democratic representatives issued a joint statement demanding the lieutenant governor step aside.

"All survivors of sexual violence and harassment deserve to be supported and heard, and our commitment to that principle is more important than any political consideration". Fairfax also called the first allegation "defamatory" and "false".

The statement says Watson "hopes he will resign from public office". The Associated Press is not reporting the details because the allegation has not been corroborated.

Lauren Burke, Fairfax's spokesperson, told The Washington Post that Fairfax is "calling for an investigation on all of these matters".

"She said the alleged assault took place at a fraternity house".

"It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do". "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 two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship".

Fairfax has insisted that his encounter with Tyson, now a California professor, was 100 per cent "consensual".

What about the racism scandal?

Fairfax had briefly seemed poised earlier this week to succeed Northam to become the second African-American governor in Virginia's history.

Virginia is already reeling from a political scandal since a photo of someone in blackface surfaced on Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page. He first said he was in the picture, then denied it while at the same time acknowledging that he did wear blackface once at a dance contest.

On Friday he sent an email to state employees signalling his continued defiance of nearly universal calls for him to quit. "There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity", he told the Post.

At which point Virginia Democrats began planning for the future.

State Attorney General Mark Herring has also admitted a blackface episode in 1980 while he was aged 19 in college. It has decimated the governing leadership, as well as the Virginia Democratic Party.

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